The Tampa Bay Hotel was built by railroad magnate Henry B. Plant between 1888 and 1891. The construction cost over 3 million dollars. It was considered the premier hotel of the eight that Mr. Plant built to anchor his rail line. The hotel itself covers 6 acres and is a quarter-mile long. It was equipped with the first elevator ever installed in Florida.The elevator is still working today, making it one of the oldest continually operational elevators in the nation. The 511 rooms and suites were the first in Florida to have electric lights and telephones. Most rooms also included private bathrooms, complete with a full-size tub. The price for a room ranged from $5.00 to $15.00 a night at a time when the average hotel in Tampa charged $1.25 to $2.00. The poured concrete and steel reinforced structure of the building was advertised as fireproof. It is now home to the University of Tampa.