Sep 25, 2023 - Things to Do

Check out Tampa Bay's Hispanic heritage sites

Ybor City center. The historic district of Tampa Florida USA.

Ybor City. Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The National Park Service mentioned several sites in Tampa Bay in its list of landmarks that reflect American Latino heritage.

Why it matters: These sites preserve and celebrate Latinos' cultural, historical and architectural contributions across the Tampa Bay area.

  • It's Hispanic Heritage Month, a great time to check them out.

Zoom in: De Soto National Memorial is named after Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto who led an expedition to Florida. The memorial includes displays of armor, weapons and other historic items.

  • It's located at 75th St. NW in Bradenton.

Tampa Bay Hotel's design is drawn from Moorish and Turkish architecture, but the massive building also played a role in the Spanish-American war.

  • The U.S. military made the hotel a headquarter for Army leaders planning a campaign against Spanish forces in Cuba, per NPS.
  • It's located at 401 W. Kennedy Blvd.

El Centro Español de Tampa is a large red brick building in Tampa's Ybor City Historic District. Established in the late 19th century, it served as a social club for Spanish immigrants.

  • It's located at 1526 E. 7th Ave.

Between the lines: Many sites listed by NPS are connected to Spanish colonial history. But in recent years the agency has added landmarks about the Latino experience in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Flashback: An Axios review last year of public monuments and historic sites in the U.S. found few honoring Latinas outside of religious figures like La Virgen de Guadalupe or Virgen de la Divina Providencia.

Yes, but: Now, the park service lists more sites connected to civil rights than in the past, and the agency is exploring how to save landmarks linked to Black and Latino civil rights.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to include the accurate address of El Centro Español de Tampa's historic location.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.

More Tampa Bay stories