Send a message to the CPPC by going to the Link at the end of this story!
The boom is coming to the long vacant 800 block of Central, bringing good and bad news for preservation. The historic Ninth Street Bank & Trust building, many may recall as Union Trust Bank, is located on the block's south side and is a locally designated landmark. The landmark designation means that city council, after considering community input, concluded the bank building to have exceptional importance to St. Petersburg's sense of place. Council has only designated a small number of buildings in the city as landmarks and, because of their community importance, they may only be demolished in the instance when there is no feasible alternative to demolition. It is presumed a landmark can be reused and the burden is on the developer to show otherwise.
The landmark bank building was constructed in three stages, starting in 1926, the first addition coming in 1938 and the final addition being completed in
1967. A large (8 story) apartment building is planed to cover the block. The 1926 portion of the landmark would be retained although new apartments are proposed to be built on top of it as well as encasing the sides not facing the street (see picture). The beautiful 1938 and 1967 additions, both of which are architecturally significant, would be demolished. SPP is excited to see the block redeveloped and the 1926 building reused but also believes there are options to reuse the 1938 addition and greater care needs to be taken with the new development to assure it doesn't overwhelm the remaining historic building,
The request to demolish the 1938 (and 1967) additions will be heard by the Community Planning & Preservation Commission (CPPC) on Dec. 8. SPP's letter to the CPPC can be read by
. SPP believes the developer has failed to show why the historic 1938 addition cannot be reused and therefore is urging the CPPC to either deny the application or to defer final action to allow the developer to come back with ways to include portions of the 1938 addition in the new development. This would also allow the new building plans to be modified to better address design compatibility issues.
You too can
send a message
to the CPPC, urge them to follow the preservation ordinance and to say no to unncessary landmark demolition.