Ybor City Featured in American Bungalow

There are three articles in the new Spring issue of American Bungalow magazine featuring historic Ybor City. The first article focuses on the still-operating historic Guinta Farm written by Tampa preservationist Del Acosta and includes some great interior photos; the second is a historic overview of Ybor City history, complete with historic photos written by Elizabeth McCoy of the Ybor City Museum Society; and the third discusses the Interstate-4 mitigation project and the impacts the historic building relocations has had on the neighborhood written by Jo-Anne Peck of Historic Shed and Tampa Preservation Board member. The magazine can be purchased at most bookstores or go to http://www.americanbungalow.com/ to subscribe. Past Tampa Bay area neighborhoods featured in this glossy national magazine include Seminole Heights and Historic Kenwood (St. Petersburg).

Macaroni Factory Demolition Request – Ybor City

The attorney for the owner of the G. R. Ferlita Macaroni Factory, 1607-09 N. 22nd Street, has notified Barrio Latino Commission (BLC) staff that he will be going forward with the request to demolish the building at the December 15, 2009 BLC public hearing. The Ferlita Macaroni Factory is a contributing historic building located in the Ybor City National Landmark District and Local Historic District and was constructed in 1925.

City preservation staff has worked diligently to facilitate the possibility of a non-profit assuming ownership of the property, but the owner is choosing to move through the demolition process at this time since the owner and non-profit have not been able to come to terms. Accordingly, the property owner has determined that demolition is his only option.

The request for demolition of this building is the result of years of neglect, meaning that it has been allowed to deteriorate with no remedial steps taken to maintain the building. Although the city has created a more effective code to deal with demolition by neglect, the deterioration of the Ferlita Macaroni Factory has persisted for so many years that the changes to the processes came too late and the building is now in poor condition.

The hearing before the BLC is scheduled for next Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Please plan to attend the hearing. You will have the opportunity to address the BLC and provide your unique perspective as a representative of the community and your organization. In the event that this request for demolition is denied by the BLC and the property owner appeals the decision to City Council, you will be unable to speak at the appeal hearing unless you participate in the December 15 BLC hearing.

Please visit the following website to appreciate the unique history and persevering importance of preserving this building: http://ferlitamacaronifactory.com/.

Rare Opportunity – VM Ybor Home Tour

On October 25th from 11am – 5pm, the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association will host its First Annual Home Tour. VM Ybor is located just north of Ybor City and has held an important place in Ybor and East Tampa history since its inception. Home to over 3,000 residents, the neighborhood is rich in history and within walking distance to Ybor City and downtown Tampa.

This is “not so typical” home tour featuring our eclectic, diverse and historic community. With 8 houses and the historic, award winning Cuscaden Pool to be featured, the tour will be sure to please local Tampa residents, historians and visitors alike. While many homes have been restored or remodeled, they all still contain original elements that characterize our unique community. The self guided tour will begin from historic Columbus Drive at the corner of Avenida Republica de Cuba, where guests will receive neighborhood maps and information on each of the featured properties.

Featured is the infamous Charlie Wall House, historic home of one of Ybor’s most illustrious characters. Wall, was Tampa’s first major crime boss and son of a prominent doctor and socialite (Lykes family). He ran gambling, extortion and narcotics rings before he was pushed aside by the Mafia in the mid 1940s. On April 19, 1955, Wall’s wife came home from a vacation and found Charlie lying dead on the floor of their bedroom, his throat slashed, his skull fractured and his face a mess of bruises. This home will be featured from 11am – 2pm only. All others will be available for guests from 11am‐5pm.

When: Sunday, October 25th 2009 11:00am to 5:00pm
Where: Self‐guided tour starts at the corner of historic Columbus Drive and Republica de Cuba and includes the entire VM Ybor neighborhood
Tickets: $10.00 per person in advance (online and at local businesses)
$15.00 day of event – All proceeds to benefit the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association and bettering our community
Information: www.vmybor.org or call Kim Headland (813) 263‐7388

Ybor City State Museum Book Signing Planned

The Ybor City State Museum will present Author John V Cinchett signing copies of his new book Vintage Tampa Signs and Scenes – a pictorial collection of 200 historic Tampa photos of the 1950s never before seen. This is an excellent opportunity for local residents to visit the museum and pick up a copy of this new popular book about 1950s Tampa. This special event will be held on Saturday September 12th 11AM-2:00PM at the Museum Gift Shop located at the corner of 9th Ave and 19th Street in Ybor City. Admission to the gift shop is free. For further information, please call (813) 241-6554.

The book is a collection of 200 historic Tampa photographs taken during the 1950s never before published from the archives of the Cinchett Neon Sign Company that operated in Tampa during the 1950s and 1960s. These vintage photographs have been restored to their original glory, creating a portfolio of clear and crisp images of favorite neighborhood stores and downtown shopping scenes.

This photograph was taken in 1956. The view is looking east on Seventh Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets in front of the Victory Bakery. This is one of more than 200 photos seen in the new book Vintage Tampa Signs and Scenes.

The Ybor City Museum State Park is a state historic park consisting of the Ybor City Museum, housed in the Ferlita Bakery building (a neighborhood bakery operated by the Ferlita family, Italian immigrants who established the business at that location in 1896), the Casita, and the Garden. The State Park contains permanent exhibits on Vicente Martinez Ybor, the founding and early history of Ybor City, the cigar industry, the social clubs of the city, and the Ferlita Bakery itself. Two years ago, the Ybor City Museum Society initiated changing exhibitions in the Museum space which change twice yearly. Admission to the museum is $4.00.

American Bungalow features Tampa

In the spring of 2007, the prestigious architectural publication, American Bungalow, sent their chief photographer, Alex Vertikoff to Seminole Heights to photograph their beautiful bungalows for inclusion in the magazine. Alex, who has photographed hundreds of houses all over the country, was amazed by the wide variety of bungalow styles he found, and thrilled to play a part in revealing the charm of the neighborhood to the magazine’s vast, international audience.

The story of Seminole Heights early years as a trolley car suburb, its heartbreaking decline and vibrant renaissance will appear in the winter issue, to be distributed in November. Future editions will feature Hyde Park and Ybor City. Purchase your copy from Sherry’s YesterDaze Vintage Clothing & Antiques at 5207 N. Florida Ave., in Seminole Heights at a discounted price.