Ybor City is a historic neighborhood just northeast of downtown Tampa, Florida, United States. It was founded in the 1880s by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and other cigar manufacturers and populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. For the next 50 years, workers in Ybor City’s cigar factories rolled hundreds of millions of cigars annually.
Ybor City was unique in the American South as a thriving town almost entirely populated and owned by immigrants. The neighborhood had features unusual among contemporary communities in the south, most notably its multiethnic and multiracial population and its many mutual aid societies. The cigar industry employed thousands of well-paid workers, helping Tampa, FL grow from an economically depressed village to a bustling city in about 20 years and giving it the nickname “Cigar City.”
Ybor City grew and flourished from the 1890s until the Great Depression of the 1930s, when a drop in demand for fine cigars reduced the number of cigar factories, and mechanization in the cigar industry greatly reduced employment opportunities in the neighborhood. This process accelerated after World War II, and a steady exodus of residents and businesses continued until large areas of the formerly vibrant neighborhood were virtually abandoned by the late 1970s. Attempts at redevelopment failed until the 1980s, when an influx of artists began a slow process of gentrification. In the 1990s and early 2000s, a portion of the original neighborhood around 7th Avenue developed into a nightclub and entertainment district, and many old buildings were renovated for new uses. Since then, the area’s economy has diversified with more offices and residences, and the population has shown notable growth for the first time in over half a century. A1 Bed Bug Exterminator Tampa
Ybor City has been designated as a National Historic Landmark District, and several structures in the area are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2008, 7th Avenue, Ybor City’s main commercial thoroughfare, was recognized as one of the “10 Great Streets in America” by the American Planning Association. In 2010 Columbia Restaurant, Florida’s oldest restaurant, was named a “Top 50 All-American icon” by Nation’s Restaurant News magazine.
Ybor City’s population numbered tens of thousands at the height of its life as a thriving immigrant community. At the lowest point in the late 1970s, perhaps 1000 residents called the neighborhood home.
In recent years, the numbers have begun to climb once more. This Tampa population grew an estimated 42.5% between 2000 and 2003, mainly due to new condominium and apartment construction. As of 2003, approximately 2,900 residents lived in the area.
Check out other neighborhoods like Bayshore Baautiful