The Thompson & Co. Cigar Factory in Bartow has been listed among the state's 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites for 2011.The factory was built in 1925 and was designed by William H. Odell and William L. Seward along Third Avenue near East Church Street. Many Cuban Americans worked at this factory performing the specialized tasks of rolling and packing leaves into cigars until the early 1960s, when the business closed. It is also the first “Mechanized” Cigar Factory in Florida. After that, ownership passed to the county and it became a distribution site for surplus government food. Communities across America are searching for ways to improve their local economies, enhance their quality of life and revitalize their neighborhoods while preserving their cultural and natural heritage. This recognition will help restore the building and redevelop the surrounding area.