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Issue: November 2015
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Walking Tour guests in front of Post Office  
SPP Saturday Morning Walking Tours
SPP's Saturday morning walking tours have resumed with some great tours coming up, including the African American Heritage Trail Tour along "the deuces" on  Nov. 21.   

Each Saturday of the month features a different tour! The walking tour schedule is on the website calendar. It's regularly updated so check out the calendar as you are bound to find a tour that will strike your fancy!

Tours are free to members, another great benefit of becoming a SPP member!
Friends of Mirror Lake Library to Present Bruce Stephens!
On Monday evening, Nov. 16, planner & Rollins College Professor Dr. Bruce Stephenson will be speaking as part of the Friends of the Library's Centennial Lecture Series. Bruce has appeared several times in the past on SPP program panels as he is both an informative and engaging speaker.

The program will be about  John Nolen, the visionary founding father of American planning. During the 1920's boom, Nolen developed a sustainable plan for St. Petersburg that was defeated by the pro-development forces.

Bruce will have his newest book about Nolen available to sign at the program. And if you have never visited the locally landmarked Mirror Lake Library, it's a great opportunity to do so!

Date:Monday, Nov. 16 
Time: Doors open at 5 pm; program at 5:30 pm 
Location: Mirror Lake Library
280 5th Street N.
Don't Forget Movies in the Park Continues Nov. 5!  

SPP has added an additional Movies in the Park night and will end the fall series by celebrating the best of wild Florida! In conjunction with the Florida Wildlife Corridor, SPP will show the stunningly beautiful and award winning film, Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition - Everglades to Okefeno-kee - 1000 miles in 100 Days. Movie in the Park goers will also get to see a preview trailer for the Expedition's second film, The Forgotten Coast - Return to Wild Florida.

With daylight savings over, the evening will start a bit early with live music at 5:30 with the Rich Whiteley Band. Don't forget, a great way to get to Movies in the Park is to bicycle and use the convenient St. Pete Bike Co-op secure bike parking service. And no need to carry along a picnic when you can purchase food from some of the great vendors attending Movies in the Park.
Good News Dep't!
Work on the reusing 4th Street's 1952 Monticello Motel is underway by developer Jonathan Daou with plans for it to become an exciting new pop-up restaurant concept. Read  the Tampa Bay Times article to find out more.  Daou also owns the historic North Ward Elementary School and promises work will be starting on it soon! 
Action Alert - Million Dollar Pier Bait House
City Plans to Auction History to the Highest Bidder!
City Should Reuse Historic Bait House on the Pier Approach!  

Send a letter to Mayor & Council by Going to Link at End of Story

Not only has the Pier included William Harvard's upside down pyramid pier building but it also includes the one remaining piece from the 1920's Million Dollar Pier - the pier bait houses.  These two buildings were located at the front corners of the pier head and can be seen in the post card aerial view of the Million Dollar Pier, above. One of the bait house is pictured below as looked at the time of the Pier closing.   It would seem appropriate for at least one of the bait houses, a small symbol of the Pier's storied history, to be incorporated into the planning and construction for the new Pier approach.   In fact, until just recently it was something the city had indicated was going to happen. Instead, to the surprise of many including SPP, the city announced plans on the eve of Halloween to auction this city owned piece of history to the highest bidder who would be required to move the building from the Pier.  
The city has recently selected a design team to complete plans for the redevelopment of the Pier Approach. The project has a 20 million dollar budget. SPP suggests the relatively small cost to move and to renovate a bait house be found within this budget so as to ensure one piece of the1920's Million Dollar pier history remains.  The city should relocate the bait house from the pier head to the renovated pier approach - in fact it could serve again as a bait house or as a home for a pier history display! As the Pier is city owned the city should be responsible for  ensuring this small piece of history is retained instead of selling it to the highest bidder!

If you support the city reusing the Million Dollar Pier bait house make your voice heard! We've made it easy for you to send a message to Mayor Kriseman and city council.  Just CLICK HERE to go to our Bait House Action Alert page to send your message.

Celebrate City Theatre's
90 Years in the 'Burg!
Special Holiday Party & Command Theater Performance  
SPP is joining with City Theatre to offer a Command Performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, one of the holiday season's favorite and fun stories! City Theatre is the state's oldest continuously operating community theater, having been a part of the 'Burg's history since the 1920's boom!

SPP is excited by this opportunity to partner with and highlight City Theatre's role in St. Petersburg's cultural history with this exclusive performance for SPP. A ticket for this performance makes a great holiday gift for friends, family or co-workers and a ticket purchase helps support SPP's efforts to preserve the' Burg!

As the holiday period is a busy time, be sure to put this Dec. 17th event on your calendar now! In addition to the special performance, SPP and City Theatre will be offering a backstage tour and SPP will be offering a pre-performance holiday reception including tasty holiday desert treats along with a cash bar.  It all promises to be a special and fun evening and for a very reasonable price!  
What: Special p erformance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Date: Thursday, December 17th   
Time: Reception starting at 7pm; Back-stage tour at 7:15 pm; performance at 8:00 PM
Where: City Theatre, 4025 31st Street S., St. Petersburg 33712 
Cost: SPP members just $15; Non-members $20 
Pheil Hotel & Central National Bank
Another Piece of Downtown History is Threatened!
Central Ave. & 4th St. - the intersection has always been the heart of downtown! On one corner sits the ornate Snell Building (a preservation success story)while across the street on the intersection's southwest corner stands another grand piece of history - albeit hidden by the "cheese-grater" metal screening installed in the 1960's. Behind that 1960's facade are two beautiful historic buildings waiting to become another  set of preservation success stories - the Pheil Hotel and the Central  National Bank buildings. Pictured to the left is  the yellow brick Pheil Hotel building. Beyond the post card view, to the left of the Pheil would be the Central National Bank building.
The Pheil was one of the city's first "skyscraper" hotels, topping out at eleven stories with 180 hotel rooms and an ornate ground floor movie theater - the Pheil Theater. The building was developed and championed by Mayor Abram Pheil, who lays claim to being the world's first commercial airplane passenger as a result of having the winning bid for flying with Tony Jannus to Tampa on Jan. 1, 1914. The 1912 Central National Bank building, also hidden under the 1960's metal screen, was organized in 1905 and was the city's third bank.

Descendants of Abram Pheil's family still own the historic hotel building although
A 1970's Look
it has been the subject of a long term lease. A  Tampa Bay Times article recently reported the family and lease holder as having reached a new agreement and that a request to demolish the historic buildings will be forthcoming. Surrounding those buildings is surface and garage parking. Thus, there are many redevelopment options, including retaining and reusing the historic buildings while building new construction in place of the parking areas.

Having seen historic buildings fall in the past only for the property to remain vacant the city has adopted an ordinance that generally prohibits demolition before new building plans are in place. The Crislip Arcade and Central Avenue's 600 Block were saved from demolition, ultimately becoming downtown success stories, because demolition was not allowed to proceed when it was first sought as no replacement building  plans were ready.

SPP will be seeking to ensure the ordinance is enforced and also seeking to work with the owners to look for preservation solutions.