FL-F383 Centro Espanol de Tampa


Chartered on September 7, 1891, El Centro Espa–ol was the first Latin club organized in Ybor City. As a mutual aid society, it provided early Spanish immigrants with a framework by which they maintained their identity and culture while supplying social privileges and death and injury benefits. Financed by stock pledges of $10 each by the original 186 Charter Members, the society opened the first club building in June 1892 on land purchased by Ignacio Haya at 16th Street and 7th Avenue. The membership soon outgrew the original building. By 1909 club officers embarked on a building campaign to build two new clubhouses - one in Ybor City and one to accommodate members in West Tampa. Completed in 1912, El Centro Espa–ol de Tampa sits on the site of the original structure on 7th Avenue. The long, two-story rectangular building houses a cantina and ballroom at its south end separated by a foyer and stair hall from the theater at its north end. The parapet of the stage house steps above the roof line of the main building at the north end of the site. The red brick edifice reflects the French Renaissance Revival style with Moorish and Spanish influence. In 1988 the Department of the Interior designated El Centro Espa–ol de Tampa a National Historic Landmark.

Sponsored by City of Tampa ,The Ybor City Development Corporation and the Florida Department of State, Sandra B. Mortham, Secretary of State, 1998

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