As we conclude National Historic Preservation Month, I thought it befitting to highlight the first three properties placed on St. Petersburg’s Register of Historic Places.
In May 1986, the John Williams House located at 511 2nd Street S., the Open Air Post Office at 400 1st Avenue N and the Vinoy Park Hotel at 501 Beach Drive received the city’s historic places designation.
Later that year eight others followed including, Weedon Island (Riviera Bay and 94th Avenue N), the Henry Veillard House (262 4th Avenue N), Casa Coe da Sol (510 Park Street), Snell Arcade (405 Central Avenue), St. Petersburg High School (2501 5th Avenue N), Alexander Hotel 535 Central Avenue), Casa de Muchas Flores (1446 Park Street) and the Studebaker Building (600 4th Street S).
The John Williams House
The John C. Williams House, also known as the Manhattan Hotel or Williams Mansion, was originally located at 444 5th Avenue South. It was subsequently purchased by the University of South Florida and moved to 511 Second Street South, on the Bayboro campus. On April 24, 1975, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and in 1986 it was added to the City of St. Petersburg’s Register of Historic Places. The house was built in 1891 and its architecture style is Queen Ann. Mr. Williams, from Detroit, was the cofounder of St. Petersburg, along with Captain Peter A. Demens in 1888. Williams bought the land; Captain Demens brought the railroad industry into the area.
Historic Open Air Post Office
Listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1975 and on the city of St. Petersburg’s Register of Historic Places in 1986, the Open Air Post Office is the country’s first open-air post office. It has been in continuous operation since being dedicated in 1916. This important Mediterranean Revival building, located in the heart of St. Petersburg, has a highly ornamental design making it a downtown landmark. Postmaster Roy Hanna found the money and inspiration to build, with architect George Stuart.
Vinoy Park Hotel
The Vinoy Park Hotel was built in 1925 by its namesake, Pennsylvania oil tycoon Aymer Vinoy Laughner. Construction began on February 5 and took 10 months to complete, with a grand opening on December 31. The Vinoy was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and to the city’s Register of Historical Places in 1986. Its grand architecture had the new resort resemble the great historical palaces and villas of Europe’s Mediterranean coastline. Every single one of the building’s 375 guestrooms and suites offered the most cutting-edge amenities and services. A full history of The Vinoy – it’s glorious and inglorious days – can be found on the Historic Hotels of America website (https://www.historichotels.org/us/hotels-resorts/the-vinoy-renaissance-st-petersburg-resort-and-golf-club/history)
Historic Preservation Program in St. Petersburg
The city’s historic preservation program is managed by the Planning and Economic Development Department, Urban Planning and Historic Preservation Division. The Historic Preservation staff works with property owners, local businesses, public agencies and community organizations to help identify, preserve, and promote St. Petersburg’s unique character. If you have questions about the program, call or E-mail the staff.
Derek Kilborn, Manager: 893-7872, email@example.com;
Laura Duvekot: Historic Preservationist: 892-5451, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Perkins: Historic Preservationist: 892-5470 email@example.com
St. Petersburg Communities
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one of them and are thinking of selling, call Estelia today!
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol