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Issue: December 2016
In This Issue
Quick Links
Become a Member
Upcoming Events
Donate to SPP
Contact Us 
Help Keep
St. Pete Special
Become a SPP Member!

Our members are important to us! We would love to have you support SPP's efforts to Keep St. Pete Special by becoming a member or renewing your existing membership. Click here to join! If you have a membership question, please contact Liz Wagner, Membership Coordinator or call SPP at 727.824.7802.

And SPP, of course, would be happy to receive your year end donation, just click here!
This weekend (Dec. 3 & 4) Historic Kenwood and it's Artists Enclave District is offering special studio tours. The 14 stop free self guided studio tour thru the historic bungalow neighborhood will include 19 artists displaying their work. Click here for info.
Next weekend (Sunday, Dec. 11) the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club will be taking oral histories beginning at noon. Anyone who would like to share their memories of the club throughout the years is welcome. For hints on how to prepare, contact Laura, or at 813 362-8338.

SPP is Going to Cuba!
Is a trip to Cuba on your bucket list? Join SPP for a special educational trip to Cuba, April 26 - May 1, 2017. The 6 day trip will include touring the architectural & historic landmarks of Old Havana, Hemingway's home and working cigar factories. Trip participants will also have the chance to sip mojitos at the landmark Hotel Nacional & travel along scenic roads in classic cars.  Tour group size will be limited to 15. If interested, please email SPP executive director, Allison Stribling.
Thank You Movie Sponsors! 

If is hard for us to believe but 2017 will be the eighth year for SPP's Movies in the Park! This fun event couldn't happen without the support of our great local sponsors and a hearty thanks goes to each & every one.

SPP wants to give a special thumbs up to two Movie sponsors who have been a big part of making Movies happen as both have been sponsors each and every year since the start: Steve Westphal and his 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House and Sylvia Rusche and her downtown State Farm Insurance Agency.

Steve and Sylvia are successful business owners and special people who give back to their community to make sure it remains special to all of us who live or visit the 'Burg.

If you are interested in becoming one of our special Movie in the Park sponsors, just click here for info or give us a shout
walking tour guide
Don't forget to pick up a copy of SPP's self guided walking tour booklet. Grab a copy at Craftsman House (2955 Central Ave.), the St. Petersburg Museum of History (on the Pier Approach), or at many other locations around town. An electronic copy can be accessed by clicking here!  If your business would be interested in having copies for your customers, email Allison

Mark your calendar for May 18-20 as St. Pete will host the annual conference of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. The event will offer both opportunities to volunteer and to learn the latest on what is going on in preservation.
Help St. Pete Lit's Holiday Book Drive and the Christmas Toy Shop give the gift of reading this holiday season to some of south county's less fortunate children. Book donation bins have been placed around town and donations of new or gently used children and young adult books will also be accepted at SPP's Keep St. Pete Special Books in the 'Burg event on Nov. 6.  
Purchase a Holiday Gift and Support SPP!

The holidays are here and SPP has some items that would make great gifts, including Movie in the Park Note Cards, Preserve the 'Burg tee shirts or gift memberships. The note cards come in a pack of 5, with each card displaying a different movie poster that was created by our favorite local artist, Carrie Jadus.

You will be able to purchase  the items at SPP's Dec. 6 Keep St. Pete Special holiday event or drop us a message and let us know what you would like to get!   
Holiday Program - December 6!
Don't forget, SPP's next Keep St. Pete Special program & holiday party is around the corner! Join us on Tuesday evening, Dec. 6 for Books in the 'Burg - Special Authors & Special Passages! Space is limited so make your reservation now!
The evening will include tasty treats & cash donation bar but the highlight is sure to be the three local guest authors, Peter Meinke, Will Michaels and Cathy Salustri. These three talented individuals help to make the 'Burg special. Having an opportunity to hear the three of them together is indeed special.

Peter Meinke is Florida's (and formerly St. Pete's) poet laureate, an award winning writer and a regular contributor to Creative Loafing. Will Michaels is a historian, author, and a regular contributor to the Old Northeast Journal. Cathy Salustri is an author, chronicler of "backroads" Florida and presently the arts & entertainment editor for Creative Loafing.

The list of books these three have authored is impressive and adds up to a fascinating reading list. Each will introduce you to their writings with a short reading from some of their favorite passages. And don't forget, it  will be holiday time and their books, which will be available at the event and they will sign, make great gifts!

Reception with cash donation bar at 6:00 and
program at 6:45 pm.
     What: Keep St. Pete Special Program - "Books in the       'Burg - Special Authors & Special Passages"
     Date: Tuesday, December 6th 
     Time: 6:00 pm reception; 6:45- 8:00 pm program 
     Where: Softwater Studios in the Warehouse Arts District, 515 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33712  
     Cost: $10 for SPP members including single drink ticket for individual members & 2 drink tickets for household members; $15 for non-members (does not include drink ticket); Membership special (new or renewing): $30 for individual membership, including individual admission & drink ticket; $50 for household membership, including admission & drink tickets for 2   

Thanks to our generous Keep St. Pete Special program series sponsor, Estelia Mesimer.  

Submit a Nomination for SPP
Preservation Awards!
It's time for SPP's preservation awards! Do you have a favorite renovated home that is special to your St. Pete neighborhood? Do you frequent a St. Pete business, restaurant or brew pub
located in a renovated historic building or one that has been carefully maintained over the years? If the answer is yes, then submit an award nomination for that home or building! Click here to get the simple to fill out form!

We have tried to make the nomination process simple and anybody may submit a nomination - the building owner; a neighbor or other person appreciative of the building; an architect or contractor who worked on the building or perhaps your neighborhood association!

Now is the time to submit a nomination as December 16 is the deadline. The winners, selected by a multi-judge panel, will be announced at an awards celebration on February 8 in the 1929 St. Petersburg Woman's Club on beautiful Snell Isle (save the date on your calendar).

Click here to open the Award Nomination Form. For more information about the SPP awards, click here.
SPP Walking Tours
There is Bound to be One (or Two) for You!
With cooler weather it's a great time to join a SPP walking tour and they are a perfect activity to offer to your holiday visitors. Tours take place each Saturday morning, including Christmas eve but excluding New Year's eve.

This Saturday, Dec. 3, SPP will join with Keep St. Pete Lit to offer a special Downtown Tour with a Literary Twist - a tour with some history tidbits and short readings from local authors!  Our popular Waterfront Tour will take place Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 17 offers the choice of a morning tour around Mirror Lake and Historic Lang's Bungalow Court or an afternoon tour (3pm) in  Historic Gulfport.  The next Downtown Lunchtime Tour will be Friday, Dec. 16. On Christmas eve morning, SPP President and architectural historian Emily Elwyn will lead a special Downtown Holiday Tour. And mark your calendar for January's special neighborhood tour on Saturday morning, Jan. 21, as SPP takes a first time visit to Crescent Heights, one of the 'Burg's lesser known but special historic neighborhoods!

Tours are free for SPP members (another great reason to join) and just $10 for non-members. Reservations are encouraged as some tours fill.  Tour starting locations and times can be found on the SPP website calendar. SPP is happy to schedule a private tour for your group, just send us a message and we will arrange a special tour for your group or family.
Landmark Updates

5th Avenue North Properties 
In an effort to provide a review process for some of the 'Burg's threatened historic resources before plans for demoliton may occur, SPP has submitted landmark applications for four downtown properties in the 100 block of 5th Ave. N.

In 2005, these properties were purchased by a Tampa developer
who proposed a massive high rise hotel for the parcels. Upon purchase, the existing tenants were evicted. In 2006, however, the city rejected the hotel plan for being out of character with the neighborhood (public comments did make a difference!). Thereafter, the developer filed for bankruptcy and the properties have remained vacant & decaying. The properties SPP is seeking to landmark include:

The Grant & Maud Aiken home at 118 5th Ave. N., a classic Crafstman styled bungalow, built circa 1909. Grant Aiken was the city's first attorney . He was listed in the 1908 city directory as one of four attorneys in the city. In 1911 he drafted the bill to create Pinellas County from a portion of Hillsborough County. After his death in 1912 at the age of 48, his wife Maud opened the city's first private school, catering to the children of winter tourists and offering high quality innovative educational methods.

The Dr. Pricer home at 126 5th Ave. N. is a textbook illustration of a classic Craftsman style bungalow and it has retained its historic appearance and integrity with only minor alterations. The home was built circa 1910.

The Burnside-Duckering home at 136 5th Ave. N., a Prairie styled residence, built circa 1915, was first owned by John & Virginia Burnside. The style is unusual for St. Petersburg with the only other Prairie styled downtown residence being in Lang's Bungalow Court (presently proposed for demolition). Virginia Burnside was the city's first female
commissioner, taking office on July 1, 1920 and she was reportedly the first woman commissioner elected south of the Mason Dixon line. The home was purchased by Mary Duckering in 1921 who, along with her sister Dr. Florence W. Duckering, lived in the home. Florence was the first female surgeon to be admitted to the American College of Surgeons in1913.

The Henry home, at 142 5th Ave. N., a Craftsman styled residence built circa 1913 was owned
by Henry & Mamie Mack. He was one of the city's early leading contractors, having built in 1909 the city's first high school as well as constructing the First Congregational Church on 4th St. N. and in 1915 the Carnegie (Mirror Lake) Library. The property remained in the Mack family until the mid 1980's.

SPP submitted complete landmark applications this summer but the city has yet to schedule them for hearing despite a requirement to do so within 60 days of receipt of a complete application. SPP will continue to urge the city to schedule these landmark applications for review. You can help by sending the city a message telling them you support the 5th Ave. N. landmark applications and for the city to set them for review! 
Historic Home Needs a Home! 
The 1905 Thompson-Duncan House at 758 3rd Ave. S. needs a new home or be lost to demolition as its downtown lot is about to be redeveloped. The home is available for no cost but any new owner would be responsible for relocating the home (expected cost at least $100,000). Read more from the Tampa Bay Times story

First/Jannus Block

The block remains under threat of new high rise redevelopment as proposed by the owners' plans. As of the writing of this newsletter, SPP is still waiting for Mayor Kriseman to announce the next steps to help make sure the block's history remains.

If you haven't sent your message of support for keeping the history of the block, you can Send your message now to city council! 

No doubt, public opinion is sure to play an important role in whatever decision is ultimately made regarding the block. That's why it's important for you to make your voice is heard! More info about the block is on SPP's website and updates will be on the SPP Facebook page. 

Thank You For Helping to Keep St. Pete Special!