On May 16, two Tampa houses were relocated by the Florida Department of Transportation as part of FDOT’s Interstate Historic Mitigation Plan, becoming the 63rd and 64th houses moved by FDOT since 2001.
The former home of Al Lopez — the first Major League baseball player from Tampa, and first Hall-of-Famer from Tampa — will ultimately become the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House, an Ybor City-based home for celebrating the community’s importance to baseball and baseball’s importance to the community. The second home will be renovated and repurposed by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office as a law enforcement museum, and the hope is to have them both open by next spring.
The relocation began on the evening of May 15 as crews with Above All Structural in Pinellas County began moving the two homes on giant flatbeds. As the sun came up the very next morning, the homes had both completed the journey of seven blocks from 12th Street to 19th Street where they will be renovated and repurposed and eventually become a permanent home for the region’s baseball history.
Later that morning, a celebratory toast was held at the Ybor City Museum State Park in honor of the new museums. Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, Mary Alvarez, and Al Lopez Jr. were among the guest speakers.