Ybor City Museum State Park

1818 E. 9th Avenue, Ybor City, FL 33605

OWNER: State of Florida


BUILT: Main Museum, 1923; Casitas, 1890s

SIZE: Varies


In the 1970s, a number of dedicated citizens became very concerned with preserving Ybor City’s rich history and making sure future generations understood just how unique Tampa’s Latin Quarter really is. As part of that effort, many started to think about establishing a museum in Ybor City. In 1975, Cesar Gonzmart, then owner of the Columbia Restaurant, travelled to the State capital in Tallahassee to discuss the possibility of turning an old bakery building into a museum. A few months after Cesar first went to Tallahassee, the project had been approved by the Tampa City Council and the mayor, and by August of the same year the State approved the project and bought the Ferlita Bakery Building that now houses the museum you see before you. A short five years later the building had been transformed into a museum, and the new Ybor City Museum State Park was dedicated on October 13, 1980.

The Ybor City Museum State Park consists of a number of features. These include the main Museum building, the Mediterranean-style Garden, and several casitas. The main Museum building is located in the former Ferlita Bakery. The business was started by Francisco Ferlita in 1896. Originally called La Joven Francesca (The Young French Girl), the first bakery building burned down in 1922. The Ferlita family built a new bakery on the same spot in 1923, this time naming it The Ferlita Bakery. The Ybor City Museum Society, the Citizen Support Organization for the state park, in partnership with Tampa Preservation, organized the relocation of three casitas to the state park property. Originally located at 1514, 1516, and 1518 5th Avenue, the homes were relocated to the new site in 1976. The three houses were all built in 1895 of Florida Pine with either cypress or cedar shingled roofs, and help make the museum complex feel more like a traditional neighborhood from the bustling days of Ybor’s past. The one with rocking chairs on the porch was restored and furnished to look as it would have when a family lived there in the early days of Ybor City, while the others serve as offices. Over the years, the Ybor City Museum Society has worked to bring more historic homes to this block, including three more located adjacent to the original three and four located on 19th Street across from the Museum.

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