Historic Markers Across Florida

L'unione Italiana (Italian Club)

Marker ID: FLHM 
Location: 1731 7th Avenue
County: Hillsborough
Coordinates: N 27° 56.624    W 082° 26.666
  27.94373333    -82.44443333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM5WHF


The nucleus of Tampas Italian colony arrived from New Orleans and Sicily in 1887. Founded I 1894, the primary purpose of LUnione Italiana was to promote social and fraternal exchange among its members, and to provide medical benefits and burial expenses for its members. Health care benefits provided by Ybor Citys social clubs represent early examples o f Americas health maintenance organizations and one of the oldest examples of cooperative medicine in the country. LUnione Italiana is considered the forerunner of more than 1,400 Italian mutual aid societies founded in the United States. In 1914 fire destroyed the first club hose built on the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and Eighteenth Street. By 1918 the Society built the present three-story Neoclassical building across 7th Avenue from the original site at a cost of $80,000. The structure embraces the Italo-Greco tradition embodied in the ancient Greek temples found in the province of Agrigento, Sicily. Its theatre, ballroom, library and cantina were always beehives of activity. It stands today as a source of pride and commitment to early Italian immigrants.

Sponsors: Historic Tampa/Hillsborough County Preservation Board and the Florida Department of State


City: Tampa, FL