ARMENIA AVENUE in Tampa Florida
See the history below, how the original Armina became Armenia in time.
I have actually been there. We were driving southwest from Orlando with the intention to drive north on the east coast, and suddenly, as we approached Tampa HUH!! A big sign on the highway Armenia Avenue. Of course we exited. At the time the place was not pretty to say the least.
The story of Armenia Avenue in Tampa, Florida
by George Kamajian
Published: Monday April 08, 2013
Florida, our nation's third largest state, has long been underrepresented when it comes to organized Armenians. Sure, there has been Hye's basking in the sunshine state for years. The traditional 95 corridor from Boston to Miami sprouted numerous colonies of Armenians from Jacksonville to Ft Lauderdale.
Churches soon followed in Miami and Boca with a smattering of a few mission parishes when the Armenian populations were deemed too small to support a church. Although Armenians have made their presence known in Florida business and sports (think Garo Yepremian from the undefeated Miami Dolphins) for years, their numbers are still anemic when compared to Philly, Boston or Detroit.
When the Western part of the state opened up with Interstate 75 a funny thing happened. There was an Armenian imprint in Tampa that went beyond anything their brothers and sisters could brag about up north.
There, in the middle of downtown Tampa was the landmark Armenia Avenue with a sign as big as any on Interstate 75. A familiar name welcomed weary tourist from up north. How? Who was this powerful, rich or politically connected Armenian that made this happen?
Unfortunately, according to the local historical society Armenia has nothing to do with the name of a road in Tampa.
"Armenia Avenue was actually originally called Armina Avenue," said Rodney Kite-Powell, the curator of history at the Tampa Bay History Center. Kite-Powell says cigar factories used to line this avenue. There are a lot of streets named after the cigar factories that they were near," Kite-Powell explained. "And so, the Armina cigar factory was right along Armenia -- or Armina -- Avenue."
So how'd we get from A-r-m-i-n-a to A-r-m-e-n-i-a?
"Somewhere along the line, either a sign painter messed up, or somebody just kept consistently messing up the pronunciation, and Armina became Armenia," Kite-Powell said.
Now for the good news....it's going to stay Armenia avenue forever.
Editor's note: For a video report on the topic go to http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=134700
Let’s see how many other places we know with Armenian names. Like Nor Marash in Beitut
We all know Armenia in Colombia
Artsakh St. in Watertown Mass.
Ararat in Ausrealia
To not forget this in my backyard. Kabalian Drive
Edited by Arpa, 03 May 2013 - 07:44 AM.