VM Ybor Historic Home Tour 2015


On Sunday, October 25th from 12 noon – 4 pm, the V.M. Ybor Neighborhood Association will host its Sixth Annual Home Tour. The V.M. Ybor neighborhood was named for Vicente Martinez Ybor, the Spanish founder of Ybor City’s Cigar Industry. A true gem tucked just north of Ybor City and minutes from downtown Tampa.

This “not so typical” home tour features the eclectic, diverse and historic V.M. Ybor community. With 8 unique homes, Ybor’s last operating cigar factory, and a 200 square foot “tiny house”, 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 the J.C. Newman Cigar Factory (2701 N. 16th Street), where guests will receive neighborhood maps and information on each of the featured properties.

As a Bonus

Attendees will be able to learn about wood window repair directly from master craftsman Steve Quillian, owner of Wood Window Makeover. He will be demonstrating key steps to rehabilitating wood windows at one of the featured homes. Steve is a recognized expert and master craftsman, completing preservation projects as far west as Texas and as far north as Kentucky.


When:  Sunday, October 25th 2015 12noon to 4:00pm

Where:  Self-guided tour starts at the J.C. Newman Cigar Factory – 2701 N. 16th Street and includes the entire V.M. Ybor neighborhood

Tickets:  $10.00 per person in advance (online at www.vmyborhometour.com ); $15.00 day of event

Information: www.vmyborhometour.com or call Kim Headland (813) 263-7388

All proceeds to benefit the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association.

Tour Ybor City’s Historic Buildings

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Ybor City’s historic buildings on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

Many of the nearly 1,000 historically significant structures in Tampa’s National Landmark Historic District are run by private businesses, meaning you rarely get the chance to explore them. Buildings Alive! Ybor City Architecture Hop is a tour of eight historic buildings that have been preserved, rehabilitated, or restored and adapted to meet modern needs.

Featured buildings for the Spring 2014 hop include: Carne ChopHouse, The Cuban Club, Design Styles Architecture, Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn, Florida Business Interiors, J.C. Newman Cigar Company, TMD Windows & Doors, and USAmeriBank. Each hop stop will provide a tour and refreshments.

Visit hop stops between 5-9 p.m. by riding a Jolley Trolley or strolling through the historic district. After hopping through Ybor City, enjoy live entertainment by Hot Sun, drinks and dessert at the After Party in the Ybor City Museum State Park Garden from 8-10 p.m.

Admission price is $35 per person until Feb. 28 when it increases to $45. Discounted tickets are available for Ybor City Museum Society members. To register, click on the link below or call (813) 247-1434.


Help Save the Historic Cuscaden Pool


On Thursday, January 23rd, the Tampa City Administration will be providing a cost estimate to City Council for modernizing Cuscaden Pool while retaining its historic features.  The current proposed plan is to retain the historic fabric of the exterior, and to build a brand new pool on the interior.


The V.M. Ybor Neighborhood Association is asking you to contact your City Council members to advocate for funds to be allocated for the necessary repairs and upgrades to Cuscaden Pool.   You can assist by:

1.      Attending Council on Thursday, January 23rd to speak during the Public Comments section at 9:00am (315 E. Kennedy Blvd, 3rd Fl.)
2.      Emailing all Council Members
3.      Calling Councilman Frank Reddick, VM Ybor area councilman: (813) 274-8189 or any At-Large Council Member

Background: The historic Cuscaden Pool was once the well-used jewel of the V.M. Ybor community when it was built in 1937 as part of the WPA Program.  It was closed in the 1997 due to disrepair and then rehabilitated and restored in the mid-2000s thanks in large part to a federal grant and CIT funding ($2,600,000+). The official re-opening came in 2005 – much to the delight of residents.

Unfortunately, residents and stakeholders in the Central Tampa / V.M. Ybor neighborhood have not had access to this local, community pool since early 2010. The historic pool and community facilities, weight room, classrooms, and exercise rooms were open for just 5 seasons before being closed due to water infiltration and pool filtration problems.  In addition to the pool, this facility housed an after school program that was extremely beneficial to the families in our community.

The City Administration, after including Cuscaden Pool in past proposed budgets, has now eliminated the proposed funding for repairs.  Please take a moment to let City Council know that Cuscaden Pool is important to the V.M. Ybor community and is an important piece of Tampa history that should be repaired and returned to public use.

Ybor City Cigar Heritage Party

Come sit under the stars in the charming garden courtyard as you celebrate the rich history of cigars in Ybor City through this annual celebration presented by the Ybor City Museum Society.
Choose Your Experience

  VIP– $75 in advance/$85 at door

  • Exclusive hour of fun before the event opens to the general public
  • Open bar, including a specially curated selection of craft brew and signature dishes from Tampa Bay Brewing Company
  •  Hands on demonstrations andcigar rolling contest by Wallace Reyes
  • A Wallace Reyes limited editioncommemorative Cigar Heritage Party cigar to take home
  • Music by Acho Brother

  General Admission 

  $45 in advance/$55 at door

  • Food provided by Bernini andCarne Chophouse
  • Premium cigars 
  • Liquor Tastings
  • Music by Acho Brother
  • Cigar rolling demonstrations by Wallace Reyes
  • Silent Auction 
  • Book signing: Once Upon a Time in Tampa: The Rise and Fall of the Cigar Industry by Walter Reyes  

Registration: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?llr=7tppyceab&oeidk=a07e8fyl2lf92893f18

VM Ybor Annual Home Tour

5th Annual Home Tour 2013!
Mark your calendars!  The 5th Annual Home Tour will be held on Sunday, October 27 from 12 noon – 4 pm.
This “not so typical” home tour features the eclectic, diverse and historic V.M. Ybor community.  The tour features 8 beautiful residences and will be sure to please local Tampa locals, historians, and visitors alike.  While many homes have been restored or remodeled, they all still contain original elements that characterize our unique community.   Advanced Tickets are NOW available online (a $2 savings / ticket).

VM Ybor Neighborhood 5th Annual Historic Home Tour

Image courtesy Preservation Resource, Inc.
Image courtesy Preservation Resource, Inc.

Mark your calendars!  The 5th Annual VM Ybor Home Tour will be held on Sunday, October 27 from 12noon – 4pm. This “not so typical” home tour features the eclectic, diverse and historic V.M. Ybor community.  The tour features 8 beautiful residences and will be sure to please local Tampa locals, historians, and visitors alike.  While many homes have been restored or remodeled, they all still contain original elements that characterize our unique community.   Advanced Tickets are NOW available online (a $2 savings / ticket). Buy tickets at: http://www.vmybor.org/committees-events/annual-home-tour

The Capital Grille Announces Cocktail Conservation Society to Benefit Local Tampa Historical Sites

The Cocktail Conservation Society Will “Honor Our Forefathers’ Spirits” By Introducing Special Lounge Menu

The Capital Grille, known nationally for its dry-aged, hand-carved beef and extensive, award-winning wine list announces the launch of the Cocktail Conservation Society lounge promotion in Tampa beginning September 9.

The Cocktail Conservation Society is a four-week lounge promotion featuring soon-to-be forgotten cocktails from Tampa’s Golden Age as the Alhambra of the South.  Each week, a portion of proceeds from the sale of these classic cocktails will be donated to support one of the four specified local historical sites around Tampa.  These sites and their corresponding dates to be featured within the promotion include:

Tampa Theatre: Sept. 9 – 15

A catapult for the imagination since 1926, the Tampa Theatre is a passionately protected landmark and one of America’s best-preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture (tampatheatre.org).

Tampa Union Station: Sept. 16 – 22

Opened in 1912 by the Tampa Union Station Company, the Renaissance Revival-style building’s original purpose was to combine passenger operations for the Atlantic Coast Line, the Seaboard Air Line, and the Tampa Northern Railroad at a single site. After its condition deteriorated substantially, the depot closed in 1984; however, thanks to local historic preservationists and passenger rail advocates, the station was restored and reopened to the public in 1998 (tampaunionstation.com).

The Cuban Club (El Circulo Cubano de Tampa): Sept. 23 – 29

Constructed in 1917, The Cuban Club (El Circulo Cubano de Tampa) served as a gathering place for Cuban immigrants in Ybor City. The building, designed in Neoclassical style and decorated with imported tile, stained glass, scraffito spandrels and murals, included a theater, pharmacy, ballroom, library, and cantina. Today it continues the legacy of the club first established in 1902 as a mutual aid society (thecubanclub.org).

The Italian Club (L’Unione Italiana): Sept. 30 – Oct. 6

Originally completed and dedicated on Columbus Day, 1912, the original $40,000, three-story structure stood on Seventh Avenue between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets as was to be home to The Italian Club, an organization who’s purpose was to promote fraternity, charity and social intercourse among it’s members, mostly consisting of Italian immigrants.  The brick building featured an athletic room and theatre. Unfortunately, the building only lasted three years before being destroyed by fire.  With a pledge to rebuild, The Italian Club began construction on the present-day building in 1917.  The erection of the new L’Unione signified a profound commitment to Italian community life in Tampa and an important benchmark.  Built in an Italian renaissance style, decorated with classical columns, terra cotta relief and a profusion of marble, the clubhouse stands as an impressive monument to immigrant achievement.  With furnishings, the building cost $80,000, a considerable amount at the time.

The Cocktail Conservation Society lounge menu will feature classic cocktails, including:

  • The Mule: Premium Vodka, Fresh Lime Juice and Ginger Beer
  • Strawberry Mojito: Atlantico Rum, Monin Pure Cane Syrup, fresh strawberry, fresh lime juice, mint leaves
  • Pimm’s Cup: Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, Lorina Sparkling Lemonade, garnished with lemon, lime, cucumber and mint
  • Real Dill: American Harvest Organic Vodka, dill, agave syrup, lemon juice, lime juice, cucumber
  • Rye Old Fashioned: Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Angostora bitters, sugar cube

“The Cocktail Conservation Society is an opportunity for The Capital Grille to engage with our local historical community and bring a sense of nostalgia into our lounge,” said Nicholas Foley, Managing Partner, The Capital Grille Tampa. “The featured sites are integral to the history of Tampa and we want to do our part in preserving them for years to come.”

“The Cocktail Conservation Society program is an innovative way to bring awareness to some of Tampa’s historic gems,” said Jill Witecki, Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Tampa Theatre. “As a long-time Tampa institution, the Theatre is thrilled to work with partners like The Capital Grille who are looking for creative ways to give back to their community and introduce these Tampa landmarks – not to mention these classic cocktails – to a younger audience.”

About The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille is known for its dry-aged steaks, award-winning wine list and professional service in an atmosphere of relaxed elegance. Routinely recognized by Wine Spectator magazine and receiving other top accolades, The Capital Grille has been awarded the American Culinary Federation’s “Achievement of Excellence” and was voted a guest favorite on Open Table’s “Best American Cuisine Winners – Top 50 Restaurant List,” with 10 locations filling out the list’s coveted 50 spots.

The Capital Grille offers more than 350 New and Old World wine selections, including a Captain’s List of some of the world’s most highly allocated and sought-after wines. The restaurant also offers a variety of elegant private dining spaces for meetings and group events.

Please visit The Capital Grille on Facebook and on Twitter @CapitalGrille.

Relocated Historic Ybor City Home For Sale by the City of Tampa

2402 E. 11th Avenue, Ybor City Historic District
2402 E. 11th Avenue, Ybor City Historic District

The City of Tampa is offering a relocated historic building located at 2402 East 11th Avenue for sale. The building was relocated by the FL Department of Transportation and now rests on a new foundation. The City will require the timely rehabilitation of the historic building in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. Interested parties are encouraged to submit proposals that are consistent with the local historic district, rehabilitation standards, applicable laws, ordinances and regulations governing the location.

Proposals will be due to the City by Friday, June 7, 2013, 4:00p.m. To obtain a City of Tampa Project Proposal Form, a Land Sales Agreement form for this transaction and other information applicable to the Project, you may access the City website at http://www.tampagov.net/realestate . If a Proposer would like a Proposal package sent via U.S. mail, the Proposer should send an e-mail to Wanda.Thompson@tampagov.net or contact the Real Estate Division by calling (813) 274-8915.

Previews of the house will only be conducted on Friday, May 17, 2013 between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. so that all interested parties may tour the house. Be sure to check the City’s Real Estate Division website for any updates.

In selecting a proposal, the City is not bound to make the award on the basis of the highest monetary offer. It is the City’s goal to strengthen the mission and stability of the residential community. The City reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals, either in whole or in part, with or without cause, waive any informality of any proposals, cancel this request for proposals, and to make the award in the best interest of the City, subject to City Council approval.

The project is eligible for funding through the City of Tampa’s Trust Fund Loans, made possible by the Florida Department of Transportation project. It may also qualify for Tax Incentives.

VM Ybor T-Shirts Available

VM Ybor T-shirt imageSupport the VM Ybor Neighborhood’s efforts and look fashionable in the process with their new t-shirts. The shirts feature architectural images of Ybor (you know the clock tower) in a two-tone print. All proceeds go towards the neighborhood association, supporting local programs such as the Annual Egg Hunt, National Night Out BBQ, the Home Tour (fundraiser for the local Dream Center and Academy Prep) newsletter printing, website hosting and our many great Community Events.

Order your shirts online at: http://www.vmybor.org/committees-events/vm-ybor-t-shirts

Ybor City Historic District Expansion

Ybor City StreetscapeTampa City Council will hear the first reading of the proposed Ybor City Historic District Expansion on Thursday, 2/14 at 5:01pm at City Council Chambers (315 E. Kennedy Blvd, 3rd Floor).  The V.M. Ybor Neighborhood Association has supported and advocated for the expansion of the local historic district. Additional information about the benefits of historic districts and common misconceptions can be found here.

If you can not attend the meeting, please consider sending an email in support of the expansion to your City Council member.  Several informational meetings have been hosted by the neighborhood association since 2010. A publicly noticed informational meeting was held by City Staff in June 2012. The City’s Historic Preservation Commission voted in favor of a District Expansion at a Public Hearing in September 2012.  The Planning Commission  then recommended a Historic District Expansion in November 2012.