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.
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.