The former Balbin Brothers Cigar Factory in West Tampa was built in 1904 for Samuel I. Davis & Company as a three-story brick Romanesque Revival edifice. Before moving to Tampa, Samuel and Fred Davis were two of the most prominent cigar producers in New York.
This 34,903-square-foot building was constructed in 1904 at 1202 N Howard Avenue, after George and Lettie Benjamin sold four parcels to Samuel I. Davis for $16,600. The building was held by Samuel I. Davis & Co. from 1904 to 2 October 1910, when it was destroyed by arson during a workers’ strike. After Samuel I. Davis & Co. vacated the property in 1911, the Balbin brothers purchased it and subsequently relocated here. Since Elisardo was one of the brands manufactured by Balbin Bros., the structure is commonly referred to as the Elisardo Factory Building. Historically, this structure was also known as the Tamp-Cuba Cigar Factory Building.
The former Balbin Brothers Cigar Factory in West Tampa was built in 1904 by Samuel I. Davis & Company as a three-story brick Romanesque Revival edifice. The building was owned by Samuel I. Davis & Co. until it was extensively damaged by arson on October 2, 1910, during a workers’ strike. One year later, Gabriel, Benigno, and Miguel Balbin acquired the land.
On October 2, 1910, although West Tampa’s economy was prospering, Samuel I. Davis & Company’s use of the structure was abruptly terminated when the factory was extensively damaged by arson. A year later, Gabriel, Benigno, and Miguel Balbin acquired the property at 1202 North Howard Avenue. In the 1870s, the Balbins, immigrants from Asturias, Spain, came to New York. Balbin Brothers employed hundreds to create hand-rolled cigars under a variety of labels, including Elisardo, El Matrimonio, La Flor de Rousseau, Ella De Vine, Balbin, El Sidelo, and Flor de Balbin. For many years, the structure was known as the “Elisardo factory.”
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In 1915, the Tampa-Cuba Cigar Company acquired Balbin, constructed a water tower, and expanded the business to become the largest cigar manufacturer in West Tampa. Tampa-Cuba maintained the factory until its shutdown in 1934. At this point, it was no longer possible to fight against the Great Depression, the competition between factories that used machines, and the growing popularity of cheap cigarettes.
On September 28, 1891, H.B. Guilford, Ernest Berger, and Emilio Pons, three members of the Wholesale Druggists Association of America, created the Tampa-Cuba Cigar Company on September 28, 1891. (1857–1914). On, 1916 January 6, the Tampa-Cuba Cigar Company. acquired Balbin Bros. Co. and its subsidiary, Diaz-Havana Cigar Co. Consequently, Tampa-Cuba Cigar Co. grew to become the largest cigar factory in West Tampa. At this point, it was no longer possible to fight against the Great Depression, the competition between factories that used machines, and the growing popularity of cheap cigarettes.
In this facility, Balbin Bros. Co. and Diaz-Havana Cigar Co. ceased operations in December 1923, and Tampa-Cuba Cigar Co. continued operations until May 16, 1934. From 1occupieduntil 1933, Gradiaz, Annis & Co. held the building before moving to the Gradiaz, Annis & Co. building in Ybor City. Throughout the years, Tampa-Cuba Cigar Company shared the same facility with Tampa Grande Cigar Company, Elmerbrink Company, and Preston Cigar Company. Diaz Havana Co. is building. ible on the exterior of the building.
Over the next 38 years, the building was inhabited by numerous businesses, including EmpirClothing Manufacturing Enterpriseac’s clothes manufacturing enterprise. There, firms such as EverWear Products, Inc., Royal Kitches, Inc., and Daystar International operaThere were more than 200 cigar factories in Tampa in the early twentieth century, but only 24 of these distinctive industrial structures remain today. inctive industrial structures remain.
This 35,000-square-foot structure appears to be recuperating. It was acquired by Desai’s My Hospitality Hotels for $1.4 million in November 2016A 70-room boutique hotelse. The Balbin reality will become a 70-room boutique hotel thanks to a partnership between a hotel owner in Tampa and a hospitality company in Louisiana.
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