Don Vicente Inn

1915 Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City, FL 33605

OWNER: Jack Shiver


BUILT: 1895


The Don Vicente Inn has lived many different lives.  When it was built in 1895 by Ybor City’s founder, Vicente Martinez Ybor, it served as the Ybor Land and Improvement Company.  This was the planning and development office Mr. Ybor used in order to design and create many of the buildings of Ybor City.  At the turn of the last century, the building became a health care clinic known as El Bien Publico, or “The Good Pubic.”  Medical services in Ybor City were unique in the United States, as they were what can be described as cooperative in nature.  People became members of a club, and as part of their membership benefits they had access to very cheap medical care.  In many cases these clubs were the large ethnic social clubs, such as El Centro Español and El Centro Asturiano, which are other stops on this tour.  In other cases, however, clubs arose for the singular purpose of providing medical care.  El Bien Publico was such a club.  In 1935 the clinic changed names to the A.A. Gonzalez Clinic, which continued to provide very affordable medical care to the residents of Ybor City until it closed in 1968.

Sadly, the building lay vacant for several decades and fell into a state of great disrepair.  It was finally purchased in 1998 by one-time chairman of the Ybor City Development Corporation Jack Shiver.  When he purchased the building, he quipped that when he stood in the basement he could look out the roof.  After over $2 million in renovations he transformed the shell of a building into the Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn.  Showcasing a dazzling collection of rugs, vases, paintings, and furniture, the Inn is now one of the premier hotels in Tampa.


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