A walk dvery own 7th Avenue in the historic area of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida, engperiods all the senses. From the scent of roasting coffee, sights of towering palm trees, and sounds of Latin music, a stroll dvery own "La Setima" or "Broadmeans," as inhabitants recognize it, evokes a dream-choose endure.

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"The ambiance is that of a European city," claims lifetime resident Fran Constantino, "and also the design of the buildings mirrors that. La Setima is a jewel for Florida and the country."

Seventh Avenue is designated among the Amerihave the right to Association"s (APA) 2008 Great Streets in America for its history, character, and also strong area involvement. The designation encompasses 11 blocks in between 2sixth Street to the east and also the Nick Nuccio Parkmeans to the west.


The Spanish and also Italian style alengthy 7th Ave is enhanced by the wrought iron balconies and street furniture reminiscent of European layouts. Picture courtesy Tony LaColla, AICP. Excellence

Seventh Avenue"s origins day to 1885 and also are connected to Ybor City"s function as the cigar production capital of the civilization, which continued through the late 1950s. More than 230 factories were situated right here, and at the heart of the market was 7th Avenue. Spanish, Cuban, Afrideserve to, Italian, Gerguy, Jewish, and also other immigrants who arrived on the start of the 20th century produced solid social networks and also clubs alengthy the street. The Jim Crow legislations and "whites only" rules that overcame the South up until the mid-1960s didn"t apply here; everyone could shop and eat in the exact same locations.

This ethnic heritage additionally is noticeable in the storefronts with second-story apartments and various other buildings fronting 7th Avenue. Italian and Spanish architectural attributes conquer, including second-floor balconies, ornate cornice work-related, and intricate tile deindicators. Historic five-globe street lamps line wide sidewalks of hex-shaped pavers. Shop windows are decorated through works of regional artists. Wrought iron benches sell inviting places to sit and also world watch or have a cup of cafe con leche and Cuban toast. At night, hundreds of tiny white lights illuminate ornate curlycue light fixtures.

These defining qualities were nearly ruined in the time of the late 1950s and 1960s once 93 percent of Ybor City was transdeveloped via federal city regeneration efforts aimed at slum clearance and also interstate freemethod building and construction with areas and also downtowns. Residents like Tony Pizzo, founder of the Tampa Historical Society and whose paleas owned a grocery keep on 7th Avenue, battled proposals that would have caused structures to be leveled. Others joined in, and also in 1959 the Barrio Latino Commission (BLC) was produced. This was Tampa"s initially architectural evaluation commission, modeled after the Vieux Carre Commission in New Orleans, and also produced to protect what buildings and areas were still undamaged.


Chartered on September 7, 1891, the 7th Ave Centro Espanol Social Club was the first Latin club arranged in Ybor City. The red brick edifice shows the French Renaissance Revival style through Moorish and Spanish influence. Photograph courtesy Tony LaColla, AICP.

The area"s heritage of public participation and community involvement in and conservation has continued. The 1983 Ybor City Historic District Revitalization Plan brought about even more than $12 million in personal investment alengthy the street and somewhere else in the city. Current rebreakthrough efforts alengthy 7th Avenue and also the bordering location is guided by the 2004 Ybor City Vision Plan.

Improvements to the street itself incorporate a recently completed stormwater system to control runoff from brand-new breakthrough and also defend the neighborhood versus damage from storms and hurricanes. Also, 7th Avenue"s first LEED-certified structure is under building and construction.

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Seventh Avenue is not simply a street, claims Ybor City lifetime resident Vince Parexecute, but a area living room through all of the aspects necessary to create what planners contact a "sense of location."


The Guavaween celebration on 7th Avenue is among the premier Halloween events in the UNITED STATE Nat an early stage 100,000 participants come out for Family Fun Fest in the time of the day and Guavaween at night. Photo courtesy Tony LaColla, AICP.