Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cuscaden Park Heritage

An orange grove, bleacher seating for baseball games, famous boxing matches, and carnivals. These are all part of the great history of Cuscaden Park. Did you know that Lou Piniella and Tony LaRussa fine tuned their baseball skills at this local Park? Judy Alvarez learned to play tennis, and the Park was home to a "boxing arena". By the time the pool was built as part of the WPA Program (Work Progress Administration) the greater Ybor area had a world class recreational park with all the amenities one could imagine. Check out this great published history and plenty of photographs to go with it here. What do you remember about this great parks history?

Friday, October 8, 2010

VM Ybor Hosts Second Annual Home Tour

On Sunday, October 17th from 11am – 5pm, the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association will host its Second Annual Home Tour. VM Ybor is located just north of Ybor City and has held an important place in Ybor and East Tampa history since its inception. Home to over 3,000 residents, the neighborhood is rich in history and within walking distance to Ybor City and downtown Tampa.

This “not so typical” home tour features the eclectic, diverse and historic V.M. Ybor community. With 8 gorgeous houses and a historic, relocated 2 story grocery store, the tour will be sure to please local Tampa residents, historians and visitors alike. While many homes have been restored or remodeled, they all still contain original elements that characterize our unique community. The self guided tour will begin from historic Columbus Drive at the corner of Avenida Republica de Cuba (1315 Columbus Drive), where guests will receive neighborhood maps and information on each of the featured properties.

As a Bonus
In addition to the 8 homes and the former grocery store on the tour, the infamous Charlie Wall House will be featured (back by popular demand), complete with an antique car and period actors. This historic property was home to one of Ybor’s most illustrious characters. Wall, was Tampa’s first major crime boss and son of a prominent doctor and socialite. He ran gambling, extortion and narcotics rings before he was pushed aside by the Mafia in the mid 1940s. On April 19, 1955, Wall's wife came home from a vacation and found Charlie lying dead on the floor of their bedroom, his throat slashed and his skull fractured.

Academy Prep (the former VM Ybor Grammar School) will also be open for visitors to catch a glimpse into the southern anchor of our historic neighborhood – the school where many children first learned English at the turn of the century. It has been beautifully restored and is utilized as a privately funded Middle School. The Charlie Wall House and Academy Prep will be open for guests between 11am-2pm.

Quick Facts
When: Sunday, October 17th 2010 11:00am to 5:00pm
Where: Self-guided tour starts at the corner of historic Columbus Drive and Avenida Republica de Cuba (1315 Columbus Drive) and includes the entire VM Ybor neighborhood
Tickets: $8.00 per person in advance (online at; $10.00 day of event
All proceeds to benefit the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association and bettering our community
Information: or call Kim Headland (813) 263-7388

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Arson Tip Line: PLEASE - If you have any information - no matter how small - regarding the recent fires on 19th Avenue, 17th Avenue, or any other area arson, contact the City's Fire Marshall Office at (813) 274-7133 or use the Tampa Fire Rescue anonymous tip online form ( And please report anything remotely suspicious to TPD, using the non-emergency line at (813) 231-6130. Finally, PLEASE report any open / vacant structures illegal dumping / debris located at vacant properties using - code enforcement links. When reporting vacant, open property, accumulations or dumping online, please note that this the VM Ybor / East Tampa Neighborhood and arson is a concern!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

UC Tampa - Feb 2010 Edition Part 2

In This Issue

1. Food News: Get Greece-y. Moon Waxes. Bistro Wanes.

2. Davis Islands Dog Park Scheduled For Grooming
3. Walk into Ybor’s Secret Past
4. Seminole Heights Bicycle Club's Hub-Grub Bike Ride
5. Ride A Dragon - Tampa Dragon Boat Races
6. News & Rumors ... and much more!

Walk into Ybor's Secret Past

Walk into Ybor City's secretive past.

YBOR CITY - City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena and social media strategist Julia Gorzka have launched a new historical, self-paced audio walking tour of Ybor City, called “Secret City Walks.” Tampa’s poet laureate, James Tokley narrates the tour’s recording, which can be purchased cheaply online as an MP3 download.

To read full story, visit

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gimme Seven! New Restaurants Rolling into the Urban Corridor.

Old location of Big John's Alabama BBQ.

URBAN CORRIDOR – The new year appears to have brought with it a flurry of restaurants for downtown Tampa and its nearby, Urban Corridor neighborhoods. Seven dining establishments, some with names familiar to the area, some not, have either opened or are expected to open by the end of March.

Ybor City: Gallery Rasika has opened on Seventh Avenue in the former location of L’Olivier Cabaret. It features modern Indian fusion dishes inspired from an “age old approach to dining,” according to its website. Much like tapas bars, guests are encouraged to choose a variety of appetizers and entrees and share them with their dining companions.

Click here for full story.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

UC Tampa - Feb 2010 Edition Part 1

In This Issue

6. NEWS & RUMORS ... and much more!