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Viva Ybor Mural of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida

The distinguished looking gentleman in the upper right corner of this 2012 mural by Chico Garcia is Vincente Martinez Ybor. He was a 19th century entrepreneur who brought his talent for making fine cigars from Cuba to a historic neighborhood of Tampa now called Ybor City. His fair treatment of immigrant workers together with his […]

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Spanish Explorers Mosaic at Ybor City in Tampa, Florida

This exquisite ceramic mosaic on the exterior of the Columbia Restaurant is a tribute to Spanish navigators who explored and conquered America, including Ponce de Leon who led the first expedition to Florida. They were part of the order of knights named La Orden Real Sant’ Yago. It was originally formed in 1175. In 1972, […]

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Man Rolling Cigar at Ybor City in Tampa, Florida

If you enjoy an excellent cigar, then you must visit the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa and walk into one of several small shops that still make them by hand. The aroma of aged tobacco is wonderful. Then you’ll be mesmerized as the skilled torcedore lovingly spreads each leaf, cuts it with his rounded knife […]

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Cherubs and Spanish Musician Mosaic at Ybor City in Tampa, Florida

Since it opened in 1905 as a humble café that served Cuban immigrants and cigar workers, the Columbia Restaurant has evolved into an award winning landmark in the Latin Quarter of Tampa. It claims to be the world’s largest Spanish restaurant. You are impressed before you walk through the front door because its block-long building […]

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Vaughn Center at University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida

The private, co-educational University of Tampa was founded in 1931 and, a few years later, was relocated to its current location in the shadow of downtown. The Vaughn Center is one of 58 buildings on the UT campus but it is the heart of activities for its 7,750 students. Within this college union’s 254,000 square […]

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Tampa Riverwalk Near Downtown Tampa, Florida

The Hillsborough River flows for almost 60 miles before emptying into Tampa Bay. The best way to see some of its prettiest scenery is to stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk. This pedestrian walkway will take you along downtown, through parts of the arts district and next to several parks. You will also see several statues […]

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SunTrust Financial Center in Tampa, Florida

This SunTrust Financial Center in downtown is the fourth largest tower in the Tampa Bay Area. It stands 525 feet with 36 floors. Tampa boasts of having 130 high-rise buildings, more than any other city in the state other than Miami which has twice as many. Although SunTrust is headquartered in Atlanta, it has three […]

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Old Courthouse Silver Dome in Tampa, Florida

Between the early 1800s through 2004, Tampa has had six courthouses. Most of the structures are gone. However, this silver dome used to sit on top of number three, a red brick courthouse that was built in 1892. Its architect was J.A. Wood, the same man who designed the elaborate Tampa Bay Hotel. The dome […]

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Old City Hall Clock Tower in Tampa, Florida

In a downtown filled with glass high-rises, the seven stories of the Old City Hall in Tampa stands as a beautiful example of what ornate architecture looked like in 1915. Notice the copper dome and the reliefs of Seminole Indian maidens with braided hair just below the dentil blocks. My favorite historical footnote is that […]

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Memoria in Aeterna Sculpture at Courthouse in Tampa, Florida

In 1911, the Tampa chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy purchased this Italian marble sculpture called Memoria in Aeterna which means, “in everlasting remembrance.” It is a tribute to “the patriots of the Confederate States of America.” This south side view shows the “departing soldier” carrying his rifle while walking back home after […]