Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Casitas in the NIGHT

These little cottages in Ybor City, called casitas, are two of seven built for cigar workers' families. They are located on 9th Avenue at 18th Street on the block facing Centennial Park. They are brightly lit against Tampa’s night sky and are part of the Ybor City Museum State Park, which includes the museum (click HERE) housed in the Ferlita Bakery building (a neighborhood bakery established by Italian immigrants in 1896), and the museum’s garden (which is used for many events including weddings.) Three of the casitas were built around 1895. Originally located on 5th Avenue, the casitas were moved in 1976 to this location. Architecturally, they are known as “modified shotgun” houses and were built from Florida pine with cypress or cedar wood shingles. This style of house consists of three rooms in a row with doorways was popular throughout the rural Southern United States and was a popular house in the early years of Ybor City.

Quoting from the Ybor City Museum website, “This house had many design features particularly suited to conditions in Florida. Until 1910 these and similar houses lacked city sewer hook-up or indoor plumbing, and many were without electricity until the early 1920s. Casitas rented for $1.50 to $2.50 a week or could be purchased from $400 to $900, depending on size. By allowing workers to deduct house payments from their wages, Vicente Ybor and other cigar manufacturers contributed to the stability and security of the work force in Ybor City, and eased the hardships of immigration ...” Visit the museum website HERE for more of this fascinating story.

10 comments:

Gunn White said...

What a nice photograph, the light, colors and composition are great!

Julie said...

Frank, you won me over with your close examination of Brattcat's fridge. I will scavenge around your neck of the woods for a wee while to see what I can observe ...

Frank said...

Julie: I have been forewarned. I am anxious to learn what secrets you might uncover. Just go ahead and find some dirt...or sour milk.

cieldequimper said...

Interesting. And a gorgeous photo.

Jacob said...

I like 'em. Kind of like mini cracker houses...

Very nice night shot, Frank!

Don and Krise said...

Interesting history. At the time they fulfilled a need fairly well. Great story Frank.

B SQUARED said...

Looks like so much of Key West. A lot of the same people from that era i would suppose.

Vogon Poet said...

I like las casitas and their story. Love that wonderful deep blue sky you caught to contrast the whiteness of the little houses.
Great image and good story.

Paty said...

nice story! i like the contrast between the white of the house and the dark blue sky

plumber tampa fl said...

Nice house. Well if you need tampa plumbing they can give you a very good service.