Thursday, August 5, 2010

Outside the Ballroom: Columbia Centennial Museum

Chad was shocked that I had never heard of Ybor City before. He wouldn't tell me anything about it and henceforth had me venture off into cyberspace to learn about its rich culture and history. For those that don't know much about Ybor City here's what I've found. It was founded over 100 years ago by Vicente Martinez Ybor, a cigar manufacturer from Spain, and it is now considered a national historic landmark district. Immigrants came from countries like Cuba, Italy, Germany, and even China, just to name a few. During it's glory days in 1929 Ybor City produced about 500,000,000 cigars. But then the depression hit and many chose to leave Ybor city leaving most places shut down or out of business. But some places did remain, one of them being the Columbia Restaurant. It's the oldest Spanish restaurant in the US and in 2004 they opened the Columbia Centennial Museum to feature the restaurant's history. One extremely interesting tidbit I found is that the restaurant opened the same day the Wright brothers took flight on December 17, 1903!

Here you'll find everything from statues, to marble clocks, to amazing stained glass panels. Everything is quirky and unique making the museum the perfect backdrop for Jess and Wade's Alice in Wonderland themed wedding.

I love this awesome wall they have! It's got these neat cubby like cubes in it and they're perfect for personalizing the space. Jess and Wade put some teapots with flowers in them to go along with the Alice in Wonderland theme.

If you ever want to just check out the museum go ahead and stop by! Admission is free and they're open 7 days a week. You'll find them next door to the Centennial Restaurant. They've got a bit of info on their website including their contact info.

What you need to know about this venue:
Location: 2117 East 7th Avenue, Tampa FL 33605
Price range: $$$
Ceremony site: No
Reception site: Yes
Outside caterer's allowed: No
Parking available: Yes
Valet: No
Outdoor space: No
Styles: Historic Site, Museum

Outside the Ballroom: This is a series about discovering other amazing venues that exist for weddings and other events, ranging from castles, to traditional antique ballrooms, to bed and breakfasts, to anything that cannot be classified as a modern ballroom or meeting room. We also want to hear from you about the venues you've discovered, so please submit them in the comments or email them to with Outside the Ballroom in the subject. For more info you can find it at the Introduction.


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