fbpx

OutCoast.com

Ybor City Tunnel to History Uncovered with Demolition Work

Ybor Tunnel
Demolition work in Ybor City opened another opening to the historical tunnel system near 12th St [Courtesy of Gerry Curts via Tampa Bay Times]

Share the Love

Over a century ago, Ybor City was a smuggler’s paradise. Until recently, there were only far-reaching theories that smugglers used underground tunnels to get around the city. However, a recent demolition project of the tunnels shed some light on Ybor City history. According to Paul Guzzo at the Tampa Bay Times, demolition work showed that the tunnels are likely to have been a smuggling route.

When officials originally built the tunnels, they claimed to have the goal of using them for drainage. Although some had doubts about that theory, there was little evidence to say otherwise. The tunnels remained underground. Demolition work opened them up in a warehouse on 12th Street and Sixth Avenue.

Instead of finding what you might expect from a drainage tunnel, the demolition crew found something else. The tunnel was tall enough to walk in, and featured a rounded ceiling and dirt floor. If they intended to use it for drainage, the construction makes no sense.

Historians believe that the tunnels started as a public works project. Eventually, the mobsters in Tampa took over and used the tunnels to smuggle lottery numbers, moonshine, and even people around the city. The tunnel system goes towards the Ybor Channel. However, experts aren’t sure how far it extends.

If you want to read more about Ybor City history and the tunnels, click here.

For more Tampa Bay news updates, click here.

You Might Also Like

Featured Articles

Water Activities in Downtown Tampa
Exciting Water Activities & Adventures in Downtown Tampa
Where to view manatees in Crystal River, FL
Prime Locations for Manatee Encounters in Crystal River, FL
Back Bar at Aqua Key West, FL
Nightlife Guide: Best LGBTQ+ Bars and Clubs in Key West
Top Michelin Restaurants in Tampa
Indulge in Culinary Excellence at Premier Michelin Restaurants in Tampa
Gay Bars in Tampa, FL
The Best Gay Bars in Tampa, FL

Events

april, 2024

Event Type

Region

Event Location

Past and Future Events

default
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.