Time For West Tampa - Albany Avenue - Page 2

2001 N. Albany as seen in Jan. 2004


The MacFarlane Investment Company sold this land for the construction of the first church school in West Tampa.  "The Academy of the Holy Names" opened on Sept. 14, 1896, sponsored by the Order of the Sisters of the Holy Names.   During the Spanish-American war in the late 1890s, classes were suspended and the building became a hospital. 


After the war with Spain, the Academy resumed operation.  The building was then taken over by the Silesian Order who renamed it St. Joseph's school and moved it in 1955 to its present location at Cherry St. and MacDill Ave.


The building was converted for use by the Morning Glory Missionary Baptist Church and painted dark orange.   It is now (Nov. 2009) the Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ where Supt. C. U. Sutton is the Pastor. Supt. Sutton has done a great job in remolding the interior of the church and is currently working on the upstairs portion. The Miracle Temple family is committed to preserving and maintaining this church and understands its historical value within the Tampa community.


westtampa40academyholynames2.jpg (89462 bytes)Click to read the marker

Albany Avenue was originally named Francis Ave., then Gaspar Ave.

The Convent and Academy of the Holy Names occupied this building from 1892 to 1928. 

Place your cursor on the photo to see the street names.  Notice Sacred Heart Church in the distance,

on Twiggs St., with the original location of Jesuit High School to the left of it. Twiggs St. ran behind

the building in this photo, on the south side.

On July 17, 1881, two Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary arrived from Key West to open a two-room school house in a blacksmith shop on Zack Street in Tampa. Thirty-five pupils were enrolled initially, but by the end of the first academic year, their numbers had increased to 70 day scholars and two resident students.

In April 1889, the site of the school was moved to a two-story building at the corner of Franklin and Harrison Streets. In 1891, the late Bishop John Moore, second Bishop of St. Augustine, purchased the above property on Twiggs Street where a larger school, which served the community for 34 years, was built.

By 1926, further growth necessitated larger accommodations, and the school was moved to temporary quarters on Central Avenue while the present building on Bayshore Boulevard was under construction. Bishop Barry of St. Augustine laid the cornerstone in 1928, and Florida's Governor-elect Carlton spoke at the ceremony.

The following September saw the opening of the new school, but financial difficulties halted building progress before the structure was completed. However, with increasing enrollment, growth of the school continued. The building was completed, and by 1952 two new school wings were added, along with the chapel and auditorium.






2101 N. Albany Avenue

Originally the Preferred Havana Cigar Company, it became the Bustillo Brothers and Diaz Cigar Company factory in 1903.  Around 1953 it was vacated until a few years later when it became home to Cuesta's "Antonia Cigar Company" which had moved from Spring Street.  In 1967 they closed and sold their brands to the Villazon Cigar Company.

click to enlarge




Take a streetcar ride through West Tampa in 1908


An excellent history of Tampa, including West Tampa, is Steve Rajtar's 2007 book, "A Guide to Historic Tampa".  It is organized by time period and grouped by geographical location which allows you to follow a route through the historic areas to view the sights.  Preview this book at Google





 Albany Ave 1.    Albany Ave. 2    Tampapix Home


MORE West Tampa pages at Tampapix:
Albany Avenue
- See the orignal "Academy of the Holy Names" and cigar factories on Albany Ave.
Columbus Drive Bridge - The Gateway to West Tampa, Hillsborough River & Rivercrest Park
Fire Station No. 9 at Tampania and Chestnut St.
Fort Homer Hesterly Armory has showcased everything from NWA wrestling to JFK, Pink Floyd and Elvis.
George Guida house at MacFarlane Park - Once the home of "Mr. West Tampa"
Howard Avenue - Travel along Howard Ave. from Main St. to St. Louis St.
La Ideal Cafeteria at Tampa Bay Blvd. and Gomez Ave., a popular West Tampa landmark
La Teresita Grocery Store at Columbus Drive and Lincoln Ave.
Macfarlane Park - A favorite of West Tampans, named for the father of West Tampa
Raymond James Stadium - Home of the 2002 NFL Champions Tampa Bay Bucs and Super Bowl 43
Tampa Bay Blvd. Elementary School - Built in 1926 to educate cigar workers' children
West Tampa Little League Ball Park - Home of the 1970 Senior Little League World Champs
West Tampa History - The cigar that sparked a revolution, and Fernando Figueredo, West Tampa's first mayor.