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Issue: July 2015
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Next Porch Party
  Save the Date 

Mark your calendar for September 25 for SPP's next porch party - Be on the look-out for the August newsletter with the details and a reservation link! The party will take place in Allendale, developed by Cade Allen in the 1920's with beautiful large homes designed to attract wealthy northerners.

Local historian Ray Arsenault describes the homes as "a curious but striking mixture of Westchester County, New York-style stone mansions and hollow tile and stucco Spanish Castles, some looking like fortresses and others like California-style missions."
Thanks & Good Luck to Monica! 
Monica Kile, SPP's first part time executive director, has decided it's time to move into a full time position. She is leaving SPP to work at the Osher Learning Institute at Eckerd College (now she will have to stay active with us without pay!). A big thanks to Monica for all of her energy and hard work in raising SPP's profile and in making SPP a respected community voice.
SPP is happy to have former council member Jeff Danner step up to serve as interim executive director. And Cherie Gruber, whom many of you have met at one of our events, will continue help with events and programming. 
More Evidence that Preservation Works!
PlaceEconomics, a leading Washington, D.C. real estate & economicdevelopment consulting firm recently completed a study to measure the economic impact of historic preservation in Savannah beyond the benefits of heritage tourism.  Some of the key findings include: 

* Savannah's historic districts comprise 8% of the city's land area, 15% of its buildings; 16% of its population, 24% of its taxable value and 31% of its jobs.

* Just the work done using the federal historic tax credit has meant an average of 169 jobs and $7.5 million in labor income each year over the last 15 years.

* Historic districts are a particular attraction for jobs in the arts and culture and other knowledge industries.

* Property values in Savannah's historic districts have outperformed the city as a whole.

* The "preservation premium" from that faster rate of appreciation provides nearly $10 million dollars each year to Chatham County, Savannah and the school district. 

No doubt the economic impact of preservation in St. Petersburg is also significant...think places to stay like the Vinoy, Pennsylvania Marriott, Hollander, etc. or about places to try craft beer like Green Bench, Three Daughters, St. Pete Brew etc. or places to have fun like the 600 Block or the Warehouse Arts District or Studio@620, etc. or even places to worship in one of our many historic churches.


Yes, preservation makes sense and dollars & cents! Don't forget to tell city council to make preservation work in the 'Burg by providing for a neighborhood friendly historic district application process!

T-shirts for Sale!!
Get your Preserve the 'Burg or Movies in the Park tee-shirt now so you too can dress like a hipster from the 'Burg!  You can use the convenient link below to make you purchase at St. Pete Threads - we keep them stocked with all sizes for women or men! And an SPP shirt makes a great gift!


Keep St. Pete Special!!
A Celebration - August 13th
Join SPP for a party and some fun on a summer evening, all for a good cause - making sure the city  acts to keep St. Pete special (read the preservation ord. story, below). Celebrate the special places making the 'Burg a unique and dynamic city in which to live, work and play! And it all takes place at the historic Crislip Arcade in the 600 block, one of St. Pete's special places! These character defining places and the feel they give to our city can easily be lost - in fact, the 600 Block was almost demolished in 2008. Click here to read about how SPP acted to stop the demolition.
It promises to be a fun evening - a cool location; local food & drink (think our great breweries); music; and a few words from some of the people that make St. Pete special including Peter Kageyama, author of For the Love of Cities and gallery owner and former council member Leslie Curran who vividly recalls how the demo ball almost brought down the 600 Block. And its FREE!!  
What:  Keep St. Pete Special!- A Celebration
Date/Time: Thursday, August 13, 2015, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Where: Crislip Arcade - 645 Central Ave.  
Historic Preservation Ordinance Update  
Put August 20 on your council will hold an evening public hearing to revise the preservation ordinance, deciding whether to adopt a neighborhood friendly district application process. Historic district designation is the best way neighborhoods can seek to protect what makes them special! Cities all over the country have found that districts are good for neighborhoods and good for cities. Unfortunately, some want to keep the present and broken process that effectively prevents most of the 'Burg's historic neighborhoods from being designated as districts. Your voice to support change needs to be heard!
The nitty/gritty details are about what type of property owner vote should take place (the vote is not on whether a neighborhood becomes a district rather it is simply on whether a neighborhood can submit an application). Most cities don't have a property owner vote just like St. Pete doesn't have owners voting on neighborhood zoning. Presently, however, for historic district applications the city not only conducts a vote but counts owners who fail to return a ballot (typically absentee owners) as voting no! SPP is urging the city to count the vote like in any other election - counting those who cast a ballot. It's important to remember: 
  • The city's district designation process offers multiple opportunities for owners to voice their opinions about a proposed designation, including individual notice of public hearings.
  • Assuming a non-responding owner is against application submittal doesn't make sense. There is no more reason to count a non-responding owner as a no vote rather than a yes vote. 
  • Historic district designation is good for neighborhoods. The vast majority of studies conclude that designation protects and improves property values. 
  • District designation provides a degree of certainty the neighborhood will retain what makes it special, resulting in increased investment in designated neighborhoods.

To get the full background, including commonly asked Q &A's, review the city's info packet or check out the Q & A's prepared by SPP.  To send a message to city council, go to the SPP action page.  


Twilight On the Town
Summer Evening Walking Tours!

Our steamy summer days make evenings seem more pleasant and what better way to enjoy one than by joining a SPP Summer Stroll. These monthly walking tours (about an hour or so) end at a local restaurant or brew pub allowing conversations to continue along with a cool drink and an opportunity to purchase some great local food. Our next tour on Wednesday, August 19 promises to be fun by offering history with literary twist!

SPP partners with Keep St. Pete Lit on this fun tweak to SPP's traditional downtown walking tour. Tour goers will learn about the rich history of St. Pete's unique architecture from Med Rev jewels like the Snell Arcade to the revived Crislip Arcade, while gaining inspiration from local writers who will read their work and ask you to read yours! Bring your favorite Florida poem and read it when you feel moved, or just sit back and enjoy the inspiration! Stay after the tour for a drink at a fun downtown locale!

The "History with a Literary Twist" tour starts at 6:30 pm in front of the Snell Arcade, 405 Central Ave.
Tours are free to SPP members, just $5 for non-members. Reservations are recommended but not required.
"Tin Can Tourists in a Roadside Paradise" 
The Boom, Bust, and Built Environment Series Resumes 
September 17 marks the return of SPP's popular 2014-15 Boom & Bust program series with an informative & fun program, "Tin Can Tourists in a Roadside Paradise." 

Following the collapse of the 1920s boom, Florida attracted a new breed of entrepreneurs that established legendary attractions, making tourism the new economic fuel of our state. The Sept. program features author and Floridiana collector Ken Breslauer. Ken will explain tourism's role in the boom & bust cycle and explore the remaining material culture in St. Petersburg. The program takes place inside Sunken Gardens, one of the historic roadside attractions!

Speaker: Ken Breslauer has a graduate degree in historic preservation and specializes in commercial archeology and the study of Florida's roadside culture. Ken has authored several books, including "Roadside Paradise - The Golden Age of Florida's Tourist Attractions" and Historic Sites and Architecture of St. Petersburg, Florida. Read about Ken and his latest book in, I Love the Burg.

Reception with complimentary appetizers and cash bar at 6:30, program at 7 pm. 

What:  Tin Can Tourists in a Roadside Paradise
Date/Time: September 17th, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Where: Sunken Gardens, 1825 4th St. N., St. Petersburg
Cost: Free, thanks to our sponsors!  

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommhe endations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of these organizations.

Roadside Paradise Bus Tour!

In conjunction with the program, SPP is offering a special "Roadside Paradise" bus tour on the afternoon of Saturday, September 19.   The bus tour will allow participants to enjoy a step back in time as program presenter Ken Breslauer along with SPP guides lead the group on a trip examining the Burg's historic tourist attractions, mid-century beach motels, and preserved boom era signage.

SPP bus tours typically sell out quickly and this tour with special guide Ken Breslauer is a one time opportunity so we suggest you make your reservation NOW!

Date: Saturday, Sept. 19. 2015
Time: Depart promptly at 1 pm - Return 4:30 pm
Departure Location: Sunken Gardens, 1825 4th St. N.
Cost: SPP members $25; Non-members $30