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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

El Circulo Cubano

(Cuban Club)

 
 
El Circulo Cubano Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2008
1. El Circulo Cubano Marker
Inscription. Late 19th and early 20th century Cuban immigration to the United States was impressive for the craft talents brought to the country. Along with their Spanish counterparts, skilled Cuban cigarmakers made Tampa's hand-rolled cigars world-famous. As early as 1899 Cuban immigrants formed recreational societies with varying degrees of success, and in 1902 Cuban workers founded El Circulo Cubano as a mutual aid society to "bind all Cuban residents of Tampa into a fraternal group, to offer assistance and help to the sick."

When fire destroyed the first clubhouse in 1916, members initiated plans for its replacement. The present four-story, yellow brick building with Neoclassical design elements sits on the original site. Constructed in 1917, the building contained a theater, pharmacy, library, ballroom, and cantina. Imported tile, stained glass windows and elaborately carved scraffito spandrells decorated the structure, and the ballroom ceiling displayed elaborate murals. The clubhouse provided a gathering place for members and served as a unifying force in the Cuban community. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 1998 by Ybor City Development Corporation and Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-382.)
 
Location.
El Circulo Cubano Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, December 13, 2008
2. El Circulo Cubano Marker
27° 57.74′ N, 82° 26.669′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is at the intersection of East Palm Avenue (10th Avenue) and North Avineda Republica de Cuba (14th Street), on the left when traveling west on East Palm Avenue (10th Avenue). Click for map. Located in Ybor City Historic District of Tampa. Marker is in this post office area: Tampa FL 33605, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Attempt On The Life Of Jose Marti (a few steps from this marker); The Cherokee Club (within shouting distance of this marker); Founding of the Cigar Industry in Tampa (within shouting distance of this marker); José Martí (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); La Liga Patriotica De Instruccion (about 500 feet away); Ybor City's First Fire Station (about 500 feet away); El Chino-Pajarito Restaurant (about 500 feet away); “Cuba” (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Tampa.
 
Regarding El Circulo Cubano. This club was organized on October 10, 1899, as the October 10 Cuban National Club (or El Club Nacional Cubano). It was renamed in 1902. They used a building erected in 1892 until they demolished it to build a new one, dedicated on November 2, 1912. The two-story building cost $18,000. It burned down on April 30, 1916.

The present building was built in 1917-18 for $60,000 with a Beaux-Arts Classicism style. Designed by M. Leo Elliott, it is built of yellow brick with stone trim. Above the main entrance door is a stained glass Diocletian window with Cuba's coat of arms and flag.

Inside is a 900-seat theater, ballroom, boxing arena, pharmacy, library, gymnasium and cantina. This structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 15, 1972.
El Circulo Cubano Marker, seen along Palm Ave. Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, December 2008
3. El Circulo Cubano Marker, seen along Palm Ave.

 
Also see . . .
1. El Círculo Cubano. a fraternal organization open to all individuals who seek to preserve the Cuban heritage of the Tampa Bay area. The club sponsors social and cultural activities that honor that heritage and help to preserve the club's historic clubhouse in Ybor City. (Submitted on January 3, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. National Park Service entry. (Submitted on January 3, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
 
Categories. Hispanic AmericansNotable BuildingsNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
El Circulo Cubano Wall Plaque Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2008
4. El Circulo Cubano Wall Plaque
(Emblem worn away) Circulo Cubano 1907-1917 Construido Bajo Presidensia Del Dr. Alfredo J. Kohly
El Circulo Cubano Main Entrance Photo, Click for full size
By AGS Media, July 13, 2010
5. El Circulo Cubano Main Entrance
Jose Marti Monument (as seen in pictures 2 ,3 & 6) is also located here Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2008
6. Jose Marti Monument (as seen in pictures 2 ,3 & 6) is also located here
1853-1895
Orden
Caballero de la Luz Inc.
(Order Knight of the Light Inc.)
El Circulo Cubano Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, December 2008
7. El Circulo Cubano
 

 
Credits. This page originally submitted on January 3, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,988 times since then. Last updated on June 9, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 3, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   5. submitted on July 14, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   6, 7. submitted on January 3, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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