The Friday Morning Musicale and Federated Clubs Building at 809 Horatio St., a 360-seat auditorium, has neater landscaping, but otherwise looks much the same today as it did in the 1966 “then” photo.
The Friday Morning Musicale was chartered as a musical club in 1902 by a group of young Tampa society women. The name derives from Friday morning recitals begun in 1880 in the ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The performances became so popular the idea was copied in cities throughout the country.
Originally, Musicale members met at each other's homes before finding a meeting place at the Tampa Bay Casino, a local performance hall. The group cashed in their war bonds after World War I and bought the land at 809 W. Horatio St. in Hyde Park where the Mediterranean Revival-style theater would be built in the 1920s.
Originally the building was shared by several clubs, which is why the façade says “Friday Morning Musicale and Federated Clubs,” though over time most of the other clubs have disbanded.
The building has been restored several times during the past nine decades with most of its original fixtures still intact.
The Friday Morning Musicale’s next meeting is at 10 a.m. Friday, when the club installs its new officers. The meeting will be followed by a performance by University of Tampa dance students. A buffet lunch follows the program for $7. The public is invited to the free performance, but you must RSVP for the luncheon; call (813) 251-8201.
On May 25, the Musicale will host college students for the Stephen Foster/Jeanie competition at its historic building. The actual competition takes place the first weekend of October in White Springs.