Philip Shore Elementary School

1908 E. 2nd Avenue, Ybor City, FL 33605

OWNER: Hillsborough County Public Schools

ARCHITECT: M. Leo Elliot

BUILT: 1922

SIZE: 63,470 SF

PHOTO CREDIT: Burgert Brothers


In the very early days of Ybor City, it was commonplace for children not to attend school all day, but rather it was more likely that they worked in factories right alongside adults. Philip Shore knew very well that most children in Ybor City were not getting the education that they needed, and decided to do something about it. Shore, who changed his name from Philippe Costa when he moved to the United States from Sicily in 1898, opened a grocery store at the Port of Tampa. In two short years he established the Shore Shipping Company, but his interest in education was also strong. In 1917, Shore was appointed to the Hillsborough County School Board, and as a school board member, Shore championed the need to build a school in Ybor City, and the school board agreed. In 1922, a school bearing his name was opened, and the school you see here has been in operation ever since. Over the years it has served as a high school, a sixth grade center, and an elementary school. In 1998, Philip Shore Elementary became a magnet school for the visual, performing, and communication arts. Today, it is recognized as one of the top schools in all of Tampa. Philip Shore Elementary Magnet School for the Arts has also received recognition from the Magnet Schools of America as a magnet school of distinction and excellence.

In an interesting nod to Shore’s Italian roots and the importance of the Sicilian community in Ybor City, in 2004 Philip Shore Elementary became the first public elementary school in Hillsborough County to offer Italian classes. A partnership between Ybor City’s Italian Club and the Italian General Consulate in Miami have given youngsters attending school in Ybor City a chance to learn one of the languages that has been spoken here for over 100 years. With such innovative programs, Philip Shore Elementary remains a beacon of education in Ybor City as it has since 1922.

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