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

West Tampa Free Public Library

 
 
West Tampa Free Public Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, September 23, 2016
1. West Tampa Free Public Library Marker
Inscription.  Built with a $17,500 grant from industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the West Tampa Free Library opened its doors on January 1, 1914, becoming the first public library in Hillsborough County. Designed by architect John W. Biggar, the red brick, Neo-Classical Revival building was built at 1718 N. Howard Avenue by local contractor G.A. Miller. The library was the result of a community effort highlighted by West Tampa founder Hugh C. Macfarlane's appeal to fellow Scottish immigrant Carnegie, as well as local citizens' approval of a tax to fund operating costs and cigar factory owner Angel Cuesta's donation of the land. The library was widely supported by a community of mostly immigrant families from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. Many of the men worked in nearby cigar factories, where they enjoyed hearing the lector read newspapers, novels, and poetry. Today, the library is a Local Historic Landmark, a part of the West Tampa National Historic District, and a branch of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries. It serves an ethnically diverse community and stands as a legacy of the independent City of West Tampa, the cigar industry, and
West Tampa Free Public Library and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, September 23, 2016
2. West Tampa Free Public Library and Marker
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Carnegie's dream of free libraries for all.
 
Erected 2015 by Hillsbourgh County Historical Advisory Council Friends of the Library of Tampa-Hillsborough County, Inc.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureArts, Letters, Music. A significant historical date for this entry is January 1, 1914.
 
Location. 27° 57.46′ N, 82° 28.98′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is at the intersection of North Howard Avenue and West Union Street, on the left when traveling north on North Howard Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2312 West Union Street, Tampa FL 33607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Beginning of the Cigar Industry in West Tampa (a few steps from this marker); The West Tampa Boys Club (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Academy of The Holy Names (approx. 0.2 miles away); Centro Español de West Tampa (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rough Rider Encampment (approx. half a mile away); Morgan Cigar Factory (approx. half a mile away); Benjamin Field/George N. Benjamin b 1859 d 1926 (approx. 0.6 miles away); George Guida (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 7, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 7, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 9, 2021