tables under shady oak trees around the park offer guests an enjoyable place to
relax and eat.
There are many shelters such as these, along with numerous paved paths for a brisk walk, roller-skating or biking.
City of Tampa David M.
Barksdale Center for Active Adults at Macfarlane Park (formerly the Senior
David Barksdale, a Tampa native, was from from Seminole Heights in Tampa. He began his long association with Tampa's recreation department in 1942 while in high school, sweeping courts at Sligh Avenue Park for $1 a week. That same year he graduated from Hillsborough High School and joined the Navy. He served on the battleship USS Maryland during World War II.
After the war he attended the University of Tampa on the G.I. Bill. While studying for his physical education major, he returned to the city recreation department, working as an umpire at the North Boulevard Recreation Center. He met his future wife Frances, who was the center's playground director.
Barksdale graduated from the University of Tampa in 1950 and married in 1952. By 1955 he worked his up to director of the recreation department. He oversaw construction of nine recreation centers, eight public swimming pools and 50 tennis courts. He also co-founded the Tampa Sports Club and helped organize the first Gasparilla Distance Classic.
Barksdale retired in 1982 and spent his retirement staying active with his church, playing tennis, and working for his friend George Levy, the trophy maker. In 1993 the North Boulevard Recreation Center was renamed the David Barksdale Senior Center.
The next year, Barksdale died of cancer at age 67. The city proposed renovating his namesake building. But the University of Tampa offered to buy it, paving the way for a new senior center at MacFarlane Park in West Tampa.
Last June the $1.5-million David M. Barksdale Senior Center opened to hundreds of seniors, who packed the place as a big band played '40s hits.
From an article by Michael Canning, Times Staff Writer, St. Petersburg Times, published March 14, 2003
Park 1 | Park 2 | Park 3 | The Guida House
|MORE West Tampa
pages at TampaPix:
Albany Avenue - See the orignal "Academy of the Holy Names" and cigar factories on Albany Ave.
Columbus Drive Bridge - The Gateway to West Tampa, Hillsborough River & Rivercrest Park
Fire Station No. 9 at Tampania and Chestnut St.
Fort Homer Hesterly Armory has showcased everything from NWA wrestling to JFK, Pink Floyd and Elvis.
George Guida house at MacFarlane Park - Once the home of "Mr. West Tampa"
Howard Avenue - Travel along Howard Ave. from Main St. to St. Louis St.
La Ideal Cafeteria at Tampa Bay Blvd. and Gomez Ave., a popular West Tampa landmark
La Teresita Grocery Store at Columbus Drive and Lincoln Ave.
MacFarlane Park - A favorite of West Tampans, named for the father of West Tampa
Raymond James Stadium - Home of the 2002 NFL Champions Tampa Bay Bucs and Super Bowl 43
Tampa Bay Blvd. Elementary School - Built in 1926 to educate cigar workers' children
West Tampa Little League Ball Park - Home of the 1970 Senior Little League World Champs
West Tampa History - The cigar that sparked a revolution, and Fernando Figueredo, West Tampa's first mayor.
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