Cuban Club Storm Damage Prevention Project

Cuban Club Storm Damage Prevention Project

The National Parks Service in coordination with the Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources has awarded a $500,000 Hurricane Irma National Park Service Subgrant to address the following issues at the Cuban Club.
Visit this page for opportunities to bid on work regarding this project and/or to follow its progress.

The historic 1917-era Circulo Cubano de Tampa or Cuban Club Building, a large, stately four-story neo-classical edifice with Beaux-Arts elements, is a prominent contributing resource within the Ybor City National Historic Landmark District. Recently, the first steps have been taken in applying for individual National Historic Landmark status for the building.

When Hurricane Irma struck Tampa in 2017, the Cuban Club Building experienced flooding of the Cantina located on its basement level when stormwater overwhelmed the sump pump systems adjacent to its two rear double doors. Water also seeped through an alley wall and the north end of the west wall. The flooding damaged baseboards and the bottom area of the basement walls. A large amount of water pooled in a sunken lower floor dance/concert area which extends along a majority of the basement’s length.

Winds and air-borne debris broke one window and blew open several deteriorated French double doors that span the length of the elevated first floor north terrace on the building’s main facade. Several of the doors’ thin, fragile non-tempered glass panes were broken. The water damage was addressed by our maintenance staff although some cracked and covered broken glass door panes are still in place. No insurance claims were made because the deductible expense would have exceeded repair costs.

Potential future hurricane and storm damage to the over century old Cuban Club Building remains high not only because of the Tampa Bay area’s known vulnerability to catastrophic hurricane damage. The building’s physical location just over one mile from the docks along the Hillsborough Bay section of North-East Tampa Bay, Florida also increases its risk from flooding related to hurricane wind driven tidal surge. Stormwater intrusion into the basement has been a perennial issue for many years and remains so although the large extent of the flooding caused by Hurricane Irma could have been greatly reduced and perhaps prevented by the proposed scope of work contained in this grant proposal.

Wind-related hurricane damage is also a primary concern due to the age and condition of the building itself. Decades of physical deterioration and neglect that began in the late 1960’s was only minimally addressed until the building was purchased in 1992 by the Cuban Club Foundation, Inc. The latter is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the task of repairing, restoring and preserving the Cuban Club Building, which stands as a monument in yellow brick and marble to the vibrant culture of the Hispanic immigrants who brought the cigar industry to Tampa in 1885. While millions of dollars from State, County and City grant funding have been the cornerstone of twenty-five years of preservation work that have been successful in structurally stabilizing and partially restoring the building, many areas of this historic and architecturally significant edifice still await restoration and are in a fragile condition, particularly the numerous windows and exterior doors encasing its 17,000 square feet interior spaces.

In addition to the above described Hurricane Irma-battered French doors and other aging, distressed exterior doors on every floor, deteriorated and non-sealing windows with n0n-tempered glass over twenty-five to fifty years old are located throughout the building as well as original century-old glass and window framing. Their vulnerability to breakage from hurricane force winds could lead to severe interior damage to paintings, sculptures and historical display cases. Such wind intrusion also could place at serious risk a large three-panel Diocletian stained glass window, the ornate, delicate plaster decorations of the building’s two-story, 400-seat capacity neo-Mediterranean Revival Style Theater and perhaps cause irreparable destructive impact to other century-old distinctive ornamental features located throughout the Building.

Replacement of the above-described doors and windows has been delayed by the necessity of urgent major structural stabilization repair expenses costing almost three million dollars during the last two years. The scope of work of this grant regarding new period-design door and window replacements with tempered glass panes will prevent potential hurricane-related wind and water intrusion in many areas of need throughout the building.

The future hurricanes that will inevitably impact the State of Florida and Tampa Bay have yet to be named. The harm that they will do one day to historic buildings and sites can be minimized in the present day by the far-sighted assistance of federally authorized historic preservation grant funding such as the 2019 Hurricane Irma National Park Service Subgrants Program. The Cuban Club Foundation, Inc. urgently needs the support of this grant to mitigate in every way possible against the destructive forces of nature again endangering the safety of a unique building of tangible cultural, ethnic and architectural importance that has still traveled only part of the way down its decades-long journey towards complete restoration and preservation for the benefit of the generations who will follow us.

In relation to this project the Cuban Club is seeking bids for

Services: Accepting bids for Architecture and Engineering

Bid Due Date:
Friday, March 27, 2020

Project Description:

Create plans, drawings and construction documents for:


(1) Drainage improvements, including the installation of two trench drains to remove storm water from the club patio and alley and tied into the City of Tampa storm water system or drained to the street. (2) installation of a low profile concrete barrier to direct storm water away from the northwest basement doorway (3) installation of a new gutter system to direct storm water into the new drainage system (4) expand sump pump basins at the two west side basement entrances (5) new steel and concrete platform to be attached to the existing landing at northwest fire escape, the purpose of which is to act as a roof for the basement entrance. The landing extension must remain structurally independent of the building.


Replacement of 6 basement (1st floor) windows and 16 second floor windows that will mimic the original windows and the repair of the 22 wood window frames and sills (2) repair/replacement of 7 sets of French doors and their transom windows on the terrace (3) repair/replacement of 2 single doors and their transom windows on the terrace (4) repair/replacement of 2 single lite doors and their transom windows on main 2nd floor east front entrance (5) two sets of solid double doors on the west side of basement exiting on to the patio (6) documents must include specifications on types of wood, glass and hardware.

Bid pricing must include:

C) All necessary meetings with City of Tampa Building Department and BLC

D) All on-site structural inspections, letters and reports for as required for subsequent construction performed at the Cuban Club, which is a designated threshold building

E) On-site inspections for verifying job/task completion and completing documents (G702, G703 and G704) required by the Florida Secretary of State and the National Parks Service for meeting grant requirements.

F) All signing and sealing of documents and plans as required by the City of Tampa Building Department

G) Submitting all plans, drawings and construction documents to the Cuban Club Foundation, City of Tampa Building Department and BLC for review and addressing and incorporating all comments on construction documents until issuance of all applicable permits

I) Attending any necessary meetings with City inspectors and providing any documents in order to obtain certificate of completion

Bid Must Contain:

  • Resume of principal assigned to this project
  • Description of firm and/or principal experience with historic buildings or sites, projects under Barrio Latino Commission jurisdiction and/or work at the Cuban Club
  • Timeline
  • Description of work for the project
  • Contact information for at least 3 past clients
  • All-inclusive price

Bidder is required to tour the Cuban Club before submittal. Please call Patrick Manteiga at 813-248-3921 to set an appointment.

Services: Accepting bids for update/amendment listing in the National Register

Bid Due Date:
Friday, March 27, 2020

Project Description:

The Cuban Club Foundation Inc. is looking for qualified bids to update and improve upon the historic 1917 Cuban Club building’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Information was originally filed in 1972 and has not been updated since.

Project requires improving the product first submitted and adding historical information and photographs from decades that are missing.

This project requires researching existing documents at sources such as but not limited to:

  • USF Special Collections
  • Tampa Bay History Center
  • Florida State University Digital Repository
  • Florida Archives

Conducting interviews with but not limited to:

  • Alex de Quesada
  • Gary Mormino
  • Paul Dosal
  • Kenya Dworkin
  • E.J. Salcines
  • David Audet
  • Rolando Perez-Pedrero

Sourcing books such as but not limited to:

  • Immigrant World of Ybor City
    by Gary Mormino and George E Pozzetta
  • Ybor City: The Making of a Landmark District
    by Frank Trebin Lastra
  • Images of America: Ybor City
    by A.M. de Quesada

Bid Must Contain:

  • Resume of principal assigned to this project
  • Description of firm’s and/or principal’s experience with submitting or updating historic properties listings on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Timeline
  • Description of work for the project
  • Contact information for at least 3 past clients
  • All-inclusive price

Work must meet with approval of the Cuban Club Foundation and the National Parks Service.

The document to be submitted in a format acceptable to and meeting the standards of the National Parks Service’s National Register of Historic Places

For questions contact Patrick Manteiga at 813-248-3921 or email

Bids must be submitted by noon on Friday, March 27, 2020

Deliver bids in an electronic (flash drive) and paper version to:
Cuban Club
2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba
Tampa FL 33605

Or via email to:

The Cuban Club Foundation will choose the best bid and reserves the right to reject any and all bids and to rebid the project.