Tampa's Historic Architecture

La Teresita

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Florida and the Tampa Bay area were really bustling at the turn of the century in the 1900s. The US invasion of Cuba in 1898 (wikipedia page here) had Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders in Tampa and the cigar business was bustling. The center of Cuban and immigrant culture was in Ybor City and luxury building started when the railroad got to town. Henry Plant built the railroad that connected Tampa and Pinellas County to allow the trains from New York and the East Coast of Florida to have another destination other than South Florida and the Keys.

As a result, we have two extraordinary hotels that are worth visiting. One is still a hotel - the Belleview Biltmore and the other now houses the University of Tampa. The Biltmore offers tours and is a fun couple of hours that will take you back in time. wikipedia page on Belleview Biltmore

On the UT Campus in Tampa, the Planet Museum is where you would start your visit: wikipedia page for Planet Museum
Wikipedia page for University of Tampa
University of Tampa website

If you head over to Ybor City, there are two great examples of the social clubs that the immigrants from Spain, Cuba, Italy, Germany and other parts of Europe. These clubs provided health care, access to theater, and big social events on the weekend. The two finest examples of these clubs are the Centro Asturiano and Italian Club. Both are used to tourists making visits or walking the halls. If the doors are open in these places, just walk in and lead a self-guided tour. You'll get the flavor.

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Page Last Modified: Sunday Jul 28, 2013 10:33:20 EDT