Statements

A number of authorities and well-known figures support the preservation of the Perry Harvey, Sr. Skateboard Bowl, or Bro Bowl, and believe it has significant historical, cultural, and architectural value. Below, you can read a selection of the statements which have been submitted to various Federal, State, and City authorities for the review process, regarding its value, and the need for its protection and preservation.



1. Iain Borden

May 1, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing in support of this skateboard facility, and doing so in my capacity as a tenured professor of architectural history at University College London, UK,  as an historian with a particular expertise in the history of skateboarding and skatepark facilities, and as author of Skateboarding, Space and the City (Oxford: Berg, 2001), this latter book being to date the only full-length academic study of this subject.

During the late 1970s, hundreds of outdoor, concrete skateparks were constructed across the USA, as well as in the UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan and many other countries worldwide. These extraordinary architectural creations represented not only a sudden explosion in interest in skateboarding at this time, but also a unique form of architecture suitable for skateboarding – one which at once re-created surfers’ ocean waves in concrete, replicated ditches and domestic swimming pools which skateboarders had previously exploited, and also invented new and hitherto wholly territories such as bowls, snake runs, half-pipes and other concrete shapes. All of these aspects of skatepark design are present either explicitly or implicitly in the design of the Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark.

These original 1970s skateparks also formed the basis for many of today’s more recently constructed skateparks (mostly dating from 2000 onwards), for the temporary wooden ramps, halfpipes and other skateboarding structures seen at the X-Games, as well as for snowboarding ramps and pipes.

These skateparks have also played a unique role in the social life of communities, creating a common ground at which young people of different ages, classes, ethnicity and gender can come together, become friends, and discover new parts of their city life.

Nearly all of these skateparks have, however, been subsequently destroyed – and the few remaining examples worldwide therefore deserve, in my view as a professional architectural historian, to be worthy of historic preservation and/or other protection, such that this unique part of our urban, architectural and social history can be kept alive and in use. Indeed, this situation has already been recognized in some other countries worldwide. For example, the “Rom” skatepark near London, UK, first built in 1978, and one of only 2 such surviving London skateparks from this era, is currently being actively considered for “listing” (historic preservation status in the UK) by the official body English Heritage.

The Perry Harvey Sr. Skatepark deserves to be understood and recognized in this context – that is, as a near unique part of American architectural history, as one of the founding places of American and indeed global skateboarding, and as an important social and community setting. Indeed, I can think of few pieces of architecture more deserving of preservation, protection and recognition.

Prof Iain Borden

Prof Iain Borden BA MA MSc PhD HonFRIBA
The Bartlett School of Architecture / UCL
Professor of Architecture & Urban Culture
Director of Architectural History & Theory
i.borden (AT) ucl.ac.uk
http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/architecture
Iain Borden Biography
Iain Borden is an English architectural historian and urban commentator. He is currently Vice-Dean for Communications at the The Bartlett, University College London, and Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture. He is also the author and co-editor of a number of books including Skateboarding, Space and the City: Architecture and the Body (2001).

Iain Borden Bro Bowl
Skateboarding book bro bowl


2. H. Michael Gelfand

May 26, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To Whom It May Concern:

The public, the City of Tampa, the Florida State Historic Preservation Office, and the National Park Service should support the preservation of the Bro Bowl, its restoration, and its listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Emblematic of the rise of recreation and leisure culture that developed in the United States after World War II, and in particular in the Sun Belt States, the Bro Bowl is linked intrinsically with the development of skateboarding as an activity and as a part of youth and sports cultures. Therefore, the Bro Bowl qualifies under the National Register’s Evaluation Criteria Section A for its association “with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history.” Its relatively young age does also not hinder listing on the National Register because, as the NRHP Evaluation Criteria also note, a proposal for inclusion on the Register can be for “a property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance.” It is true that there are few skateboard parks of this type that have survived, the Bro Bowl is one of the first to have been constructed, and it was the site of the development of some of the skateboarding moves which observers can now see across the globe.

The New York Times reported in 2006 on the seeming incompatibility between the Bro Bowl skate park and the surrounding African American community. The New York Times quoted the City of Tampa Department of Parks and Recreation’s Brad Suder, who then noted that, “We’re trying to really respect all groups that have an interest in the park and find a good blend. I don’t consider skateboarding to be only a white person’s sport, and I don’t consider black history to be only for African Americans. You can’t celebrate a culture if it’s in a vacuum.”

Mr. Suder reflects on a reality about which those unfamiliar with skateboarding in the present day are unaware: skateboarding is an activity in which people of all backgrounds, including African Americans, participate. As the advisor to the skateboarding club on the university campus where I am a professor, I can attest that women and men, people from young children to adults, and people of the widest variety of ethnic and cultural groups are skateboarders. The presence of the Bro Bowl inside of the Perry Harvey Sr. Park is a testament to the growth of multicultural appreciation in American society, particularly because the Bro Bowl was, and remains, a free, public skate park open to everyone.

As a former employee of the National Register of Historic Places, I can attest that countless studies of historic preservation and development have demonstrated that the most financially and environmentally sound approach to dealing with historic resources is restoration, not demolition and replacement, of the resource. This should be the fate of the Bro Bowl. Alan “Ollie” Gelfand’s groundbreaking accomplishments and the thirty-five years’ worth of skateboarders’ enjoyment and stylistic development at the Bro Bowl are absolutely as equally significant as Ray Charles’s nearby recordings and the generations of African American citizen activism in the neighborhood. Modifications to the park should include a complete and full restoration of the Bro Bowl so that future generations of the City of Tampa, the State of Florida, and Americans can appreciate how this small section of an unassuming urban park helped contribute to what is now a $2,500,000,000 recreational culture in the United States.

H. Gelfand
Associate Professor of History, Honors, and Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies
James Madison University

H. Michael Gelfand Biography
H. Michael Gelfand is Associate Professor of History, Honors, and Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies at James Madison University in Virginia.  He is a historian of social and cultural change in the US and conducts research on surfing and the environment.  He has been involved in a number of historic preservation campaigns, and worked as a historic preservationist for the National Park Service and the U. S. Air Force.  He is also the advisor for the JMU Breakdance and Longboarding Clubs.

Howard Michael Gelfand bro bowl
H. Michale Gelfand bro bowl


3. Betsy Gordon

May 1, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To Whom It May Concern,
As a skateboard culture historian and curator, I write to support the preservation of Tampa’s Bro Bowl. The Bro Bowl’s historic significance to Florida is well-documented. It was the first public skatepark built in Florida, enabling Florida and Floridians to significantly participate in and influence skate culture. Florida skaters such as Rodney Mullen, Mike McGill, and Alan Gelfand created some of the most iconic maneuverers in skating, perfecting their craft in Florida skateparks. Florida skater/entrepreneur Paul Schmitt started Schmitt Stix as a response to the demand from Florida skaters for top-of-the-line and innovative skate products.  Today, his company, PS Stix – born and bred in Florida ,on the banks of the Bro Bowl— is one of the oldest and most successful skate brands.

Unlike most skateparks built in the 1970’s, the Bro Bowl was free and open to all. Located in a predominately African-American community, the Bro Bowl fostered a unique racial and class interaction between the African-American local skaters and the white suburban visitors. The first African-American pro skater from Florida, Cleo Coney, grew up skating at the Bro Bowl.

The Bro Bowl’s national influence is also significant. While being the first public skatepark in Florida, it was the second public park on the East Coast, and remains one of only five original, 1970’s skateparks in the United States. It has been in continual use since its opening in 1979, providing multiple generations of skaters from around the world to skate and experience one of America’s first and most important skate parks.

Demolition of the Bro Bowl would not only remove an irreplaceable historic landmark, it would end over 30 years of multi-racial and inter-generational community congregation and interaction. The Bro Bowl is more than just a concrete playground. It is history and it is legend.

Betsy Gordon

Curator, Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian

http://www.si.edu
Betsy Gordon Biography
Betsy Gordon works for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and is is a skateboard culture historian, curator, and speaker. She has also served as consultant for a number of books, exhibits, and other projects centered around skateboarding and its heritage. She is also curator of the popular Smithsonian traveling exhibit Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America.

Betsy Gordon Smithsonian bro bowl
Ramp it Up Bro Bowl


4. Paul Schmitt

May 2, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To Whom It May Concern:

The Bowl at Harvey park AKA Bro Bowl is very important to skateboarding history. It rose from Tampa, a forward thinking city, in 1978 when surf style skateparks were springing up all over Florida. This design with a hill leading into the park, lets skaters of all abilities the chance to go fast in control down a hill and easily carve around the bowl.

This free public park was accessible to anyone and it was not a pay to play facility like the private skateparks. As the private skateparks closed down the bowl became an anchor for the skateboarding community. People came from all over the Southeastern U.S. came to skate it.

I started my skateboard company Schmitt Stix in Tampa in 1978 and have gone on to produce over 10 million skateboards in my factories over the years. This place in skateboarding history should be preserved and new skate terrain built around it that will satisfy all generations of skaters.

Sincerely, Professor Paul Schmitt Stix

Paul Schmitt President / Owner PS Stix, Inc.
http://psstix.com
Founder of the Non-Profit
CreateaSkate.org
http://createaskate.org
Paul Schmitt Biography
Paul Schmitt, a former Tampa native who grew up skating the Bro Bowl, is regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and renowned skateboard manufacturers in the world. His companies, Schmitt Stix and PS Stix have manufactured over 10 million skateboard decks since the early 1980s. Sometimes referred to as "The Professor", Schmitt's influence on the skate industry from 1978 to the present is unparalleled. Schmitt is also the founder of CreateaSkate.org, a non-profit that serves schools, institutions, and museums, using the process of skateboard deck manufacturing to teach skills in science, math and other important subjects. In 2002, Schmitt was inducted into the Skateboard Hall of Fame.
Photo of Paul Schmitt at the Bro Bowl in May 2013 by Chuck Hults.

Paul Schmitt bro bowl
Paul Schmitt bro bowl_Chuck Hults


5. Phil Chiocchio

May 1, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To whom it may concern and those who make decisions:

Preservation of the Bro Bowl as urban sculpture and it’s historical significance might be viewed as an international mecca for Tampa.

Many new construction projects require an “art in public places” element. As an artist and former creator of an early skateboarding facility I suggest one’s eye might see the Bro Bowl in this light. A piece of urban concrete becomes a sculpture garden of shape, light and texture. Many of The Roman Aquaducts, parts of the Great Wall of China, native american burial mounds and other functional evolutions of humanity have been recognized and preserved as historical sculpture to be revered. The Bro Bowl is one of those sites. I would like to ask the developers to think of adding the Bro Bowl as part of their commitment to public art and secure approval from the Tampa arts community 

The historical significance is in the fact that modern skateboarding originated when Floridian Frank Nasworthy added urethane wheels to the skateboard in the 1970s. The revolution and varieties of the sport took off.  Tampa Florida recognized this and built one of the first cradles of public skateboarding. The Bro Bowl is an icon known to millions around the world. One could conclude modern skateboarding started in Florida. History is too easily bulldozed.

Now there are three generations of skateboaders on the planet.  This significant population travels and the Bro Bowl is an historical site, not so much because of it being a place to skate, but to simply arrive and stand there to reflect on one of the major places where the modern sport and mega dollar “Extreme Games” originated. This becomes a powerful moment.  It proves that skateboarders were not criminals but forward thinking adventurers who have pushed the envelope of physics and community no matter what station in life they found themselves. 

In conclusion, look at the Bro Bowl as an artist with historian’s eyes and preserve this place as an innovative location for the future of humanity.  This iconic patch of undulating concrete, built in an old public housing project, transformed many young, now old people.  It offers a monumental potential as a magnet for art, history and education.

Frank Gehry - “In the end, the character of a civilization is encased in its structures.”

Sincerely,
Phil Chiocchio
Phil Chiocchio Biography
Philip Chiocchio holds a Master of Fine Arts degree and taught at Ringling College of Art and Design for many years. In the 1970’s he built a skateboard park and promoted the sport with contests, demonstrations and secured sponsorships from many major corporations in the early years of skateboarding.  He was inducted into the Florida Skateboarding Hall of Fame in 2005 and has been featured in Florida Trend Magazine and many other publications and films.
EDITOR"S NOTE: Phil Chiocchio had a pioneering influence upon skateboarding and its culture during the 1970s as one of the first skatepark designers, builders, and operators. His park,“Sensation Basin” in Gainesville, Florida (1977-1982), was one of the most renowned parks during the 1970s and was the setting for major contests and skatepark photography, appearing in a number of national publications. Chiochhio sponsored a number of influential skaters early on in their career such as Chris Baucom and Rodney Mullen. Chiocchio is also a filmmaker and photographer who documented some of skateboarding's Golden Era as well. Some of his film footage was recently used in the Stacy Peralta documentary, Bones Brigade: An Autobiography.

Phil Chicocchio Bro Bowl
Sensation Basin Bro Bowl


6. Paul Aho

May 5, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To Whom It May Concern:

I am pleased to provide this letter of support and context for you and others in reviewing the merits and relevance of a historic site/skateboard park in Tampa, Florida, known commonly as “The Bro Bowl”, for historic protection through your agency. As curator of Surfing Florida: A Photographic History (a Florida Humanities Council funded exhibition project), and author of a 250-page publication of the same name under production by University Press of Florida, I am comfortable asserting myself as an expert in the field and in recommending this site for protection under the guidelines of the National Register of Historic Places. I am also a former resident of the City of Tampa during the emergence of modern skateboarding and ‘The Bro Bowl’s” development in the 1970s, and am a noted surfer and skateboarder of my generation. Thank you for your consideration of this unique opportunity.

As you have certainly heard from other sources, Tampa and its surrounding communities produced and attracted a community of internationally recognized skateboarders and entrepreneurs who enjoyed or built skate parks in the 1970s, contributing to a then emerging sport that continues to be popular among American youth in particular. As such, Tampa had a good number of excellent skate parks, including Rainbow Wave, developed privately and managed by my wife at the time. Nonetheless, “The Bro Bowl” was, and remains unique, in that it was a free, municipal resource (one of the first in the nation), and that it attracted primarily white populations despite its location within a housing project serving largely African-American populations – hence its name and its legacy as an engine of multi-culturalism. Additionally, like other parks of the time, and unlike those of more recent times, it was designed with an eye toward skateboarding’s origins in surfing, making it not only a go-to destination for the best Florida surfers of the time, but unique among the skateboard parks of today, which now cater to a distinctively-different, urbanized approach to the sport. Few of the former remain.

As a recently relocated resident of Florida for over 55 years, I am pleased to have played a role in a number of historic preservation projects within the state, including the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach and Old School Square in Delray Beach, as well as illustrating the Historic Preservation Guidelines for Delray Beach, and ownership and rehabilitation of a teardown1926 Mission Style house in West Palm Beach. I was also part of a group in Gulf Stream, Florida, that prevented the town’s destruction of an Australian Pine tree “tunnel” dating to the town’s origins, that fortunately continues to frame traffic on AIA through the Town of Gulf Stream in South Florida, despite enormous opposition from the town and private parties. As you know, the first two, the Armory Art Center and Old School Square, are nationally registered sites serving new audiences and community needs. I respectfully request you consider “The Bro Bowl” in this larger context, and determine its unique history as a site to be protected through national designation.

While surfers and skateboarders may appear to be marginalized outsiders within mainstream interests, our/their numbers were held to be around 5 million worldwide in the early 2000s, and have grown significantly since that time. Having spent the past three years documenting the emergence of surfing in Florida as early as 1908 (with support from the Florida Division of Historical Resources, RICHES - University of Central Florida, and many other sources), and its remarkable impact on the sport’s international dimensions since then (17 of 35 world competition titles are held by Florida surfers), I will close by reaffirming what you already know – that history is not always measured by the number of years that have passed since events occur, and that historic preservation serves many interests and needs.

Respectfully,
Paul Aho, Dean Paducah School of Art & Design, West Kentucky Community & Technical College Curator/Author, Surfing Florida: A Photographic History
Email: paulaho54 (AT) gmail.com
Paul Aho Biography
Paul Aho is the Dean of the Paducah School of Art & Design at the West Kentucky Community & Technical College. Aho is also a preservationist, activist, photographer, and surfing and skateboarding historian. He is curator of the traveling exhibit, Surfing Florida: A Photographic History. He is also the author of the book by same title, due for release by University Press of Florida in late 2013. The Bro Bowl is featured in the exhibit and book, with the exhibit's next stop at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, from August 31, 2013 to January 20, 2014.
In the photo, Paul Aho (center) stands with Steve Pezman, publisher of the internationally renowned Surfer's Journal, during the launch of Surfing Florida at the University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University in 2012.

Surfing Florida book bro bowl
Paul Aho Steve Pezman bro bowl


7. Michael Brooke

May 5, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To Whom It May Concern:

As the author of several popular skate history books, a skateboard magazine publisher, and skater for almost 38 years, I spend a great deal of time thinking about the legacy of skateboarding. It truly does have a rich cultural significance. It is imperative that we keep significant skate spots like the Bro Bowl in Tampa in the public mind because years from now people will wonder about the history of skateboarding. If there are no authentic places such as this historic 70s-era skatepark to refer back to that truly will be unfortunate.

Michael Brooke
Michael Brooke Biography
Michael Brooke is an internationally known publisher and industry figure. Brooke is the author of The Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding (Warwick, 1999) and Skate Legends (Olmstead Press, 2001). He is also the publisher of Concrete Wave, a well-known and internationally distributed skateboarding magazine that covers the full range of the sport and regularly features historical articles and interviews. His company has also published selected historical and skate culture books since the early 2000s through his imprint,  ”Concrete Wave Editions.” 

Michael Brooke bro bowl
concrete wave bro bowl


8. Craig B. Snyder

May 11, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in regards to the preservation effort surrounding the Perry Harvey, Sr. Park Skateboard Bowl in Tampa, Florida, (a.k.a. the “Bro Bowl”) and so doing in my role as a skateboarding historian, co-founder of the Skateboarding Heritage Foundation, curator and researcher at the University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and author of A Secret History of the Ollie (Black Salt Press, 2013), a 900-page illustrated history of skateboarding and its culture that focuses on the 1970s and the skateparks of that era. I am also a former photographer and journalist who helped document skateboard culture during the 1970s, published in a number of magazines. In 2011, I was inducted into the Skateboard Hall of Fame.

The Bro Bowl, as a living representative of American skateboard culture and its heritage, and as one of the last remaining icons and architectural innovations of the 1970s, I feel it is imperative that this Tampa skatepark be designated and protected as a historical landmark or heritage site. Its design is unique and representative of the surfing influence that was so pervasive in skate culture and its evolution during the 1970s. The Bro Bowl was Florida’s first public skatepark, and the third known such facility ever constructed on the East Coast, and was and still is the state’s only free, non-supervised, ride-at-your own risk facility.

Aside from its national and even international significance, the Bro Bowl also holds cultural and historical importance to the state and the region. Of note, Florida was only second to California in terms of the number of skateparks it constructed during the 1970s, making it one of the most progressive places in the world for the advancement and modernization of skateboarding. Florida produced some of the most influential and innovative names in skateboarding, and largely because they had these skateparks to practice their craft and demonstrate it to others, including the press and media. Many of the maneuvers you see today in skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding, are based on the foundations set by three Florida skaters from 1970s, all of whom relied on the Florida skateparks and the community these vital centers created. (i.e. Alan Gelfand, Mike McGill, and Rodney Mullen.)

Besides its historically progressive stature, Florida is also the only state in the nation that holds not just one, but two of the last remaining 70s skateparks in the world, and both with the original concrete surface. These are the Bro Bowl and Kona in Jacksonville, a privately owned skatepark that was opened in 1977 and is still owned by the family who took it over in 1978. (Derby in California was resurfaced in recent years, which altered the feel of the park from its original design.) The fact that Tony Hawk has chosen to include both of these Florida parks in his videos and games speaks volumes of their importance to skateboard culture and history.

Regionally, Tampa was one of the most influential areas for skateboarding in the state during the 1970s. The region produced a number of distinguished names in both skating and the skate industry, and was one of the densest regions for skateparks during this era. Some of these parks, like Rainbow Wave in Tampa and Clearwater Skateboard Park in Clearwater, became the centerpieces for the competition scene and garnered national attention. While the Bro Bowl was not one of these parks, its role from the 1980s forward as one of the only survivors turned it into a sacred ground and even a place of pilgrimage. As skateboarding progressed, many skaters returned to the Bro Bowl to revisit their roots as well as practice new moves.

The Bro Bowl not only represents Tampa history and culture, but continues to serve the community to this day in an active capacity. It is a center not just for skateboarding, but family outings and gatherings where skateboarding has been a central leisurely activity for several generations now. It is also landmark in that it was the first public park, and first free park, in the state, and that it was constructed in a low-income area with the idea of providing a healthy outlet for area residents, an alternative to street gangs or even competitive team sports that require more than one person to play. 

The Bro Bowl, or Perry Harvey, Sr. Park Skateboard Bowl, for all of the reasons given above, should be saved and preserved so that its legacy and influence can live on and it can continue to serve in the decades to come. It also holds the potential to be the centerpiece for a “skateboarding heritage cultural center,” an educational facility that could include a museum or gallery, giving a physical home to things like Florida’s Skateboard Hall of Fame and/or the Florida Skate Museum. The Bro Bowl has been and continues to be a gateway in many ways, and it is worthy of preservation for current and future generations.

Craig B. Snyder

Craig B. Snyder Biography
Craig Snyder is a writer, photographer, and historian. He is currently a researcher, historian, curator, and administrative assistant with the University Galleries and the College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Snyder is also the author of a forthcoming book on 1970s skateboard culture, A Secret History of the Ollie (Black Salt Press, 2013). Snyder documented much of the early Florida scene including the first skateparks. He has served as a staff photographer for Skate Rider, was a contributor to SkateBoarder, Wave Rider, and National Skateboard Review, and more recently has served as a consultant to numerous skate and surf-related projects and publications. Snyder’s images have been published internationally by ESPN, Der Spiegel, TransWorld Skateboarding, Stuff, and Concrete Wave, and appeared in a number of books and films. In 2011, he was inducted into the Skateboard Hall of Fame.

history of the ollie bro bowl
Craig Snyder bro bowl


9. Dr. William S. Bush

June 9, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
To Whom It May Concern,

I write in strong support of the motion to add the Bro Bowl at Perry Harvey Sr. Park to the National Register of Historic Places. I urge the City of Tampa Historic Commission to consider the benefits to the Tampa Bay area of doing so.

The Bro Bowl holds a unique place in the Tampa Bay region’s history. I know this for two reasons: I skated the Bowl religiously while growing up in south St. Petersburg in the 1980s and early 90s, and, I now work as a professional historian at a university. In other words, I lived the history that others have described, and I study, teach, speak and write about history for a living.

The City of Tampa has a one-of-a-kind opportunity before it. Preserving the Bro Bowl as a historic place will allow it to showcase the history of its changing urban landscape and race relations, in addition to its history of skateboarding through the late twentieth century. Since the 1970s, the Bro Bowl has been a place where children and teenagers from virtually every racial, ethnic, and economic background meet. My friends and I exemplified this diversity; we were mostly working-class white, Hispanic, and African American youth (many from single-parent headed households) who scraped together our gas money to visit the Bowl almost daily because we loved it so.

The stories of these daily encounters would make for a superb oral history project, and one could easily imagine the ways in which the Bowl could become a living historic monument, where visitors could learn about the region’s history even as that history continued to be set in motion before their eyes.

The proposed historic designation for the Bro Bowl would preserve a distinctive piece of Tampa’s history for the wider public, and it could make a great addition to the city’s plans for redeveloping the area with some imaginative planning. Please give it your most thoughtful consideration.

With appreciation,
William S. Bush, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
William S. Bush Biography
Dr. William S. Bush earned a B.A. in History from the University of New Orleans (1995), an M.A. in History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (1997), and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2004). He teaches classes on U.S. History, social and cultural history, and research methods. Dr. Bush has published and spoken widely on the history of children and youth with a particular focus on the history of juvenile justice. In 2010, his book-length study, Who Gets a Childhood?: Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth Century Texas was published by the University of Georgia Press. Current projects include an edited anthology with the working title “Ages of Anxiety: Juvenile Delinquency in Global Perspective;” a historical study of the San Antonio Juvenile Court; and, a grant-funded history of mental health policy and services in Texas.

Dr. Bush is also actively involved in History Education, most prominently in his role since 2009 as the judging coordinator for San Antonio Regional History Day, an annual competition of middle and high school students in the San Antonio area.

Research Interests: U.S. History, Social and Cultural History, History of Children and Youth, Policy History, History of Juvenile Justice

history of the ollie bro bowl
Craig Snyder bro bowl


Dr. William S. Bush (left), and Bill Bush skating the Bro Bowl during the 1980s (right).


10. Tony Hawk

July, 2013 
Re: Perry Harvey Sr Skatepark aka “Bro Bowl”
Due to Mr. Hawk's busy schedule, he has been unable to put aside some time to write a statement, however, his interview conducted in July 2012 serves this purpose very well. Please visit the Home page to read the exclusive Bro Bowl interview with Tony Hawk.
Tony Hawk Biography
Tony Hawk has been skateboarding since the 1970s and he has ridden many of the early sacred concrete parks. He is one of the world's most famous skateboarders and public figures, widely considered to be one of the most successful and influential pioneers in regards to modern vert skateboarding. Hawk launched the Tony Hawk Foundation in 2002, which has given away more than US $3.4 million to help build over 400 skateparks around the US. The Foundation supports projects in low-income areas and helps underprivileged kids.

tony hawk bro bowl tampa