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Ybor City: La Septima prevails over La Setima | News

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Ybor City: La Septima prevails over La Setima

Tampa, Florida --  Is it La Setima or La Septima?  That's the question the Tampa Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) debated this morning.  The CRA is made up of Tampa city council members.

The debate boiled down to history, grammar and the letter 'P'.

This morning, the letter 'P' prevailed.

La Setima is the name you will currently find on street signs along Ybor City's 7th Avenue, meaning 'seventh' in Spanish.

The La Setima signs were added to about 14 7th Avenue street signs in 1998 after Ybor Historian and author Frank Lastra requested the double signs be installed to reflect the history of the National Historic District.

Lastra told the council 'La Setima' was a colloquialism used by early Ybor City residents.

City documents show that visitors to the area have sometimes questioned the spelling, wondering where the letter 'p' was.

In October 2008, the 'La Setima' came up for discussion again when it was requested to add the letter 'P', making it 'La Septima', the more "widely accepted" and "correct" Spanish word for seventh.

After a community debate, it was later decided in 2009 to keep the name as is, 'La Setima'.

One of the people behind the push to change the name or remove the signs all together is Fran Costantino, President of the East Ybor Historic and Civic Association.

She wrote to the city, "This is a touchy subject with a lot of natives and even though it does not reach to the height and importance of a lot of City issues- it is VERY important to a lot of Tampa natives."

She led the battle in 2008 to request the name change.

Her most recent letter to the city went on to say, "It would be shameful for the citizens and residents of this great "historic" city to have thousands come and go in August thinking we cannot spell - 7th in Spanish.  Believe me that will be the first thing the Latinos and Hispanics will notice when they converge on 7th Avenue and that is that the sign is "misspelled". 

The CRA agreed, voting 5-1 to change the name to La Septima.

It will now go to a final vote during an upcoming city council meeting.


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