Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
El Circulo Cubano
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
Erected 1998 by Ybor City Development Corporation and Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-382.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Hispanic Americans • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1899.
Location. 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). Located in Ybor City Historic District of Tampa. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tampa FL 33605, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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); Cherokee Club and El Pasaje (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); La Casa de Pedroso (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
Regarding El Circulo Cubano.
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.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 3, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,454 times since then and 98 times this year. 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.