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Issue: November 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.
The city is completing a historic sign inventory and needs your help in identifying the 'Burg's old funky roadside signs! The city's list will be presented to the city's preservation commission at their meeting on Dec. 13. For more info on this fun project and how to check it out or add to the list, click here.
SPP Planning  
Spring Trip to Cuba!
Plans have been made for a special SPP 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 people. If you are potentially interested please email now SPP executive director, Allison Stribling.
Thank You Movie Sponsors! 
With costs for Movies in the Park going up every year, they couldn't happen without the support of our generous community sponsors. A hearty thanks goes to each and every sponsor but in this newsletter we want to give a special thanks to October Movie's Oscar level sponsors, HCA West Florida and Raymond James-St. Petersburg Branch.

Headquartered in Tampa, the HCA West Florida Division includes 16 hospitals on 18 campuses, 20 ERs, 14 surgery centers, imaging centers and 20 Graduate Medical Education programs. Together the network employs more than 18,740 individuals with 3,944 physicians on staff, all committed to keeping Tampa Bay healthy.

When it comes to your financial future, there's nothing like having the complete support of a firm with powerful resources and international reach. At the St. Petersburg branch of Raymond James, you'll find exactly that - plus a team of local professionals who know exactly where you're coming from and who are dedicated to helping you pursue your unique financial goals.

Soon it will be time for SPP to plan May Movies in the Park. If you might be interested in becoming a sponsor, just click here for info! 
walking tour guide
Don't forget, SPP's self guided walking tour booklet is now available! You can pick up a copy at the Chamber of Commerce (corner of 2nd Ave. N. & 1st St., across from Sundial) or at many other locations around town.  You can also access an electronic copy by clicking here
Purchase a Holiday Gift and Support SPP!

The holidays will soon be around the corner 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.

All of the items will be available at the Dec. 6 Keep St. Pete Special holiday event or drop us a message and let us know what you would like to get for a holiday gift!   
One of the historic resources keeping St. Pete special is Sunken Gardens. The Sunken Gardens Forever Foundation, has formed to help support special projects at the Gardens and to help make sure that it remains special. The Foundation is having an event on Dec. 2 to help bring about a children's educational garden. No doubt, some of you will want to attend, click here for tickets.
Submit a Nomination for SPP
Preservation Awards!
St. Pete is lucky to have many homeowners and businesses investing in reusing or maintaining older buildings that serve to make neighborhoods and our city special. Many of these individuals and businesses deserve recognition and every other year SPP has an awards program for that very purpose.

Award winners are selected from nominees made by the public. Now is the time to submit a nomination as December 16 is the deadline for receipt of nominations. 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 building (save the date on your calendar).

Do you have a favorite renovated older home that is special to your St. Pete neighborhood? Do you frequent a St. Pete business or enjoy a restaurant/bar 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! Nominations may be submitted by anybody - 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!

We have tried to make the nomination process simple and one that anybody can use. Click here to open the Award Nomination Form (you an print the form & fill  it out or use PDFEscape to use the form as a fillable form). For more information about the SPP awards, click here.
Holiday Program - December 6!
It's hard to believe but the holidays will soon be around the corner so mark your calendar for Tuesday evening, Dec. 6 for the Keep St. Pete Special Holiday Program:  Books in the 'Burg - Special Authors & Special Passages! Space is limited so make your reservation now!
Of course, the evening is going to be fun with good cheer, tasty treats & cash bar.  The evening's highlight will be readings from three local guest authors who help to keep the 'Burg special! They will be reading and talking to you about some of their favorite passages.

Peter Meinke is Florida's (and formerly St. Pete's) poet laureate, an award winning writer; retired Professor Emeritus, Eckerd College, and a regular contributor to Creative Loafing. He lives in Historic Driftwood.

Will Michaels is a former SPP president, historian, author, and a regular contributor to the Old Northeast Journal. His latest book was published this summer, Hidden History of St. Petersburg.

Cathy Salustri is an author, chronicler of "backroads" Florida and presently the arts & entertainment editor for Creative Loafing. She also leads SPP's newest Saturday tour offering, Historic Gulfport!

The list of books these three authors have written is impressive and add 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 they will sign and will be available at the event, 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, Dec. 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 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 ticket for 2   

Thanks to our generous Keep St. Pete Special program series sponsor, Estelia Mesimer.  
SPP Walking Tours
There is Bound to be One (or Two) for You!
SPP's regular tour season is back in full swing and we have some great upcoming tours, including   lunchtime tours (next one Nov. 18th), Saturday morning tours and new for this fall, a Saturday afternoon tour in Historic Gulfport (next one Dec. 17). Our popular Saturday morning tours include Downtown (next tour in Jan.), the Waterfront and   Historic Kenwood

This Saturday morning (Nov. 12) you will have two choices to pick from: The Waterfront Tour and the African American Heritage Trail Tour. Additional upcoming special tours include Northwest Downtown and Mirror Lake (Nov. 19) and the Downtown Tour with a Literary Twist (Dec. 3) when SPP joins with Keep St. Pete Lit for a tour with special short readings from local authors.

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 be happy to arrange a special tour for your group or family.
Historic Building/Landmark Update
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly 

 The Good (the home is still standing). . . 
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). The two story frame vernacular single family home has 4 bedrooms, a 2 story front porch with "gingerbread" trim and interior pressed tin ceilings. Architecturally, the home is virtually unaltered since the 1930s and is one of
the last surviving pioneer era homes downtown. Lot redevelopment is expected to move forward by the end of the year so timing is critical. If you have a serious interest in taking on the relocation of this historic gem, send us a message with your contact information.

The Bad. . . 
Your voice is needed to be heard at city hall because "First Block", also known as the Detroit or Jannus Block is threatened! Send your message now to city council!

The block is essentially where the 'Burg started in 1888 with the coming of the Orange Belt Railroad. The block's feel is a perfect example of what makes the 'Burg special and why it has become so attractive to visit or live.   

The threat to the block comes in two forms - first is the block owners' proposal to build a 25 story high rise, pictured to the left, and the second is city council's rejection of historic protection for the block. Last month, city council deadlocked in a 4 to 4 vote, effectively denying historic district status for the block. The designation would have both provided tax credit incentives to the building owners to retain & renovate their buildings and discourage demolition by imposing limitations on when demolition may be approved.

Mayor Kriseman has spoken up for block protection, noting, if the history of First Block cannot be protected what part of our city's past can be maintained. The ultimate decision as to block protection or high rise development is likely to be one that plays out over the next several months but public opinion is sure to play an important role in whatever decision is ultimately made. That's why it's important for you to make your voice heard! More info is on SPP's website and updates will be on the
SPP Facebook page.

The Ugly. . . 
The "boom" has begun to take bites out of what makes St. Pete Special. In October, two 1910 structures in the 100 block of 5th Ave. N. fell to the wrecking ball. One of those was the B & B, La Veranda. Both structures were National Register listed (contributing). City code did not require public notice prior to  issuance of the demolition permit.

Also in October, demolition commenced on the Pheil Hotel building, "hidden" behind the "cheese grater" since 1960. Yes, there was a beautiful building underneath. Plans are still unknown as to what will be built in its place.

Thank You For Helping to Keep St. Pete Special!