Tampa, FL Architecture

The year 1886 marked the beginning of the development of the City of Tampa.  It was the year that Vicente Martinez Ybor established the first cigar factory in what later became known as Ybor City and the year when Henry B. Plant decided to extend his railroad to Tampa, develope Port Tampa and build the Tampa Bay Hotel, inaugurated January 1891.

The construction in 1888 of the bridge over the Hillsborough River on Lafayette Street (now Kennedy Blvd.) prompted the development of some 20 acres of land acquired that same year by O. H. Platt and named Hyde Park for Hyde Park, IL where he hailed from.  A combination of individual subdivisions quickly developed and by 1910 about 100 acres of citrus groves south of Swann Avenue had been subdivided.

The development of Hyde Park was a mixture of styles with its early structures representing several revival styles which included Queen Anne, Tudor, Classical, Colonial, French and Mediterranean.  Later structures included Craftsman, Prairie and Bungalow styles as well as vernacular structures which do not follow any academic influence.  

The establishment of the cigar industry in Ybor City prompted the development of the area.  Its early inhabitants were immigrants from Spain, Italy and Cuba and the influence of their diverse cultural backgrounds can still be seen today in the distinct architecture of its buildings.  In the Tampa Cigar Factories pages you can learn about the cigar factories structures that still remain standing today.

The two galleries below illustrate the distinct architectural styles of Tampa and Ybor City, where residential structures remaining mainly represent those of the cigar workers.