During the 1950s, before air conditioning became commonplace, a style of homes, known as Bird-Cage houses because of their airy design, were built so that all living areas faced the prevailing southeast breezes of Tampa Bay.
Bird-Cage houses were the epitome of indoor/outdoor living with wide overhangs that provided protection from sun and rain. Traditional concrete walls were replaced by glass, and wood jalousies were adjustable to suit weather conditions and ventilation needs. In essence, the entire house was a breezeway!
Although floor plans varied, all Bird-Cage houses were a split-level style with the main living areas high enough above ground that the air would be 10 to 12 degrees cooler. Their roofs were made of 3½-inch inch tongue-and-groove cedar and built-in cabinets and closets were kept floor level for ease of cleaning.
Bay Vista Park
About a dozen of Bird-Cage homes were built along 69th Avenue South and Pinellas Point Drive by architect Glenn Q. Johnson. Founded and developed in the 1940s, this area became the St. Petersburg’s neighborhood of Bay Vista Park.
Today, eleven of these unique homes are still in existence. Their owners are seeking landmark status for their homes from the City of St. Petersburg and are working with St. Preservation.
Greater Pinellas Point
Surrounded on three sides by Tampa Bay, Greater Pinellas Point is a culturally-diverse, casual community. It boasts two community recreation centers, eight churches, two grade schools, a middle school and a high school. There are 10,000 plus residents; area homes typically range from the $300,000s to $3,000,000.