Centro Español de Tampa
Chartered on September 7, 1891, El Centro Español was the first Latin club organized in Ybor City. As a mutual aid society, it provided early Spanish immigrants with a framework by which they maintained their identity and culture while supplying social privileges and death and injury benefits. Financed by stock pledges of $10 each by the original 186 Charter Members, the society opened the first club building in June 1892 on land purchased by Ignacio Haya at 16th Street and 7th Avenue. The membership soon outgrew the original building. By 1909 club officers embarked on a building campaign to build two new clubhouses - one in Ybor City and one to accommodate members in West Tampa. Completed in 1912, El Centro Español de Tampa sits on the site of the original structure on 7th Avenue. The long, two-story rectangular building houses a cantina and ballroom at its south end separated by a foyer and stairhall from the theater at its north end. The parapet of the stagehouse steps above the roof line of the main building at the north end of the site. The red brick edifice reflects the French Renaissance Revival style with Moorish and Spanish influence. In 1988 the Department of the Interior designated El Centro Español de Tampa a National Historic Landmark.