El Centro Asturiano is one of Tampa’s early Spanish social clubs. The club, founded in 1902, catered to Latin males, most of whom were immigrant workers in Ybor City’s cigar factories. Members paid a monthly fee for health insurance, use of club facilities, and guaranteed burial in the club cemetery.
Originally the first floor, which can be considered a basement since it sits three feet below ground level, was largely the recreation floor. It boasted a gymnasium, a Cantina for cards, chess, and dominoes, a billiard room with five billiard tables, and a three lane bowling alley. A marble onyx bar in the Cantina is reportedly the world’s longest.
The second floor had offices for officers of the society, a library and reading rooms, educational rooms, smoking rooms, ladies’ parlor and dressing room, auditorium and stage.
The elevator was added by Las Damas del Centro Asturiano de Tampa in 1994 at a cost of $148,000.00. The building originally cost $110,000.00 and its furnishings $30,000.00 in 1914.
In 1974 the building was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated heritage structure in the Ybor City Historic District.