Like us on Facebook
Issue: May 2015
In This Issue
Quick Links
Become a Member 
Upcoming Events
Donate to SPP
Contact Us 

Sunken Gardens will have a flock of flamingos coming back! The Flamingo Forever Fund has successfully met their $60,000 campaign goal, ensuring that the last remaining pair, Lucy & George, will not be alone much longer! Flamingos have been a part of the lore at Sunken Gardens since the early 1950's. SPP, as a Flamingo Forever campaign supporter, is going to name one of the new flamingos! Help us pick out a name, send us your suggestions now! Click below to read about the history of the flamingos at Sunken Gardens and the campaign to bring back a new flock.


SPP likes to say historic districts are good for neighborhoods and good for the city!  It's a statement backed up by the data!  Studies show higher property values and rates of appreciation are important economic benefits of historic district designation, with values typically increasing by 5-35% per decade over those in undesignated neighborhoods.
Studies show local historic district designation decreases investor uncertainty and insulates property values from wild swings in the housing market.
The greatest impact on rates of property appreciation occur for neighborhoods with both national & local designation. For example, between 1976 and 1996, assessed property values in districts with both local & national designations in Georgia increased at a rate of 47% compared to 23% for properties  with only national designation. Go to this link to read more.


SPP views the downtown waterfront parks as one of our city's greatest historic assets. As such, SPP has been involved with the waterfront parks in a variety of ways, including starting Movies in the Park to celebrate the 2010 centennial anniversary for the parks.

In 2012, voters amended the city charter to require adoption of a downtown waterfront master plan.  A section of the draft plan has raised questions by calling for a hotel & conference center on city waterfront property. SPP, as well as the Tampa Bay Times, have urged city council to keep the public waterfront free of such development.  Read the SPP letter here and the Times editorial here

Photo from:
Tampa Bay Times

T-shirts and Movie Posters for Sale!!

You can now buy your Preserve the 'Burg or Movies in the Park tee shirts online via St. Pete Threads, a new local business!  And, of course the shirts will also be available at the SPP tent at Movies  in the Park where we will also have for sale the Carrie Jadus designed May Movie poster.
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!


Preserve the 'Burg ArtWalk
and Porch Party!

Second Saturday means its ArtWalk in the 'Burg! SPP has teamed up with the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance for a
special preserve the 'Burg Artwalk on June 13 followed by a SPP  porch party. ArtWalk features more than 30 studios & galleries throughout the city's five art districts, all open from 5-9 pm. It's a great time to meet the artists & gallery owners and to buy local art! And the ArtWalk trolley makes it easy to get around to see it all.
Gallery owners & artists typically want space with a unique character that aligns with their creative venture - meaning most of the ArtWalk venues are in historic buildings, including two designated as local landmarks - the Craftsman House (1918 Arts & Crafts Bungalow) and the Morean Center for Clay (1926 Seaboard Train Station). Additionally, there are dozens of other art venues located in historic buildings including the Local Co-Op which will be celebrating their grand opening in the Historic Crislip Arcade in the "600 Block" and Duncan McClellan Glass, located in the Warehouse Arts District in a former tomato packing house. 

Special to the June 13 ArtWalk will be SPP guides on the ArtWalk trolleys, offering stories and histories about the various venues along the trolley route. Following ArtWalk, starting at 9 pm, will be SPP's next fun preservation porch party, with live music, tasty desert treats and drink in the 1926 Seaboard Historic Train Station. The preserve the 'Burg ArtWalk and porch party are a great way to start the summer - come join us!

What:   Preserve the 'Burg ArtWalk
Date/time: Saturday, June 13 - 6 - 9 pm
Where: Click here for an ArtWalk map but we suggest starting at the Craftsman House - 2955 Central Ave. - where it is also easy to hop aboard the ArtWalk trolley
Cost: Free (reservations not necessary)
What:  SPP Porch Party at the Historic Train Station
Date/Time: Saturday, June 13 - 9 - 11 pm
Where: Morean Center for Clay at the Historic Train Station, 420 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg (onsite parking)
Cost: $10, includes tasty desert treats. SPP members receive two drink tickets (reservations recommended)

We've been regularly reporting on the city's efforts at updating its preservation ordinance and hundreds of you have stepped up sending in messages. With your input the ordinance changes have been drafted to help neighborhoods and t o help preserve the 'Burg. 

City council has scheduled the final public hearing,  followed by their vote, for August 20. Unfortunately, with the end in sight, the Chamber of Commerce has decided to object to giving the 'Burg's historic neighborhoods the tools to protect their charm and character while others, claiming to protect property rights, have begun a misinformation campaign.

To try to dispel the misinformation, the city is holding a meeting at 6:30 pm on Wed. May 27 at Sunken Gardens to explain the proposed ordinance changes and to answer questions. If preservation supporters don't show up city council will take home the message people don't care about our city's sense of place and our historic neighborhoods. We need you to come to this meeting and to show off one of our Preserve the 'Burg stickers (you can pick one up going into the meeting). It will make a huge difference! 

Today, before a neighborhood can submit a historic district application, the city requires two-thirds approval from all property owners. Owners (typically absentee) who fail to vote are counted as no votes. And don't forget, the vote is only on whether an application may be submitted, it is not a vote on whether a district is approved as that is a city council decision. Mayor Kriseman wants to base the vote count on responding rather than all owners and to stop counting non-responding owners as no votes. SPP believes Mayor Kriseman's recommendation, requiring a majority of responding voters to say yes before an application moves forward, is a fair way to fix a broken system. 

It is VERY IMPORTANT for those of us who support protecting the 'Burg's sense of place to stand up! Emails to the Council and Mayor, like you have done in the past, are helpful but this is one of those times where faces are needed at the meeting!

What: Public Information Meeting
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Time: 6:30 pm
Where: Sunken Gardens (2nd floor meeting room), 1825 4th St. N., St. Petersburg, Fl.

We know going to meetings isn't exactly fun and you know we think preservation should be fun so join us after the meeting for some fun and a drink!  Let us know if you can come.  For more detailed information, the City has compiled relevant material, including a Q & A accessible from this link (click on "reference guide").  Or, you can check out SPP's over view of the proposed changes here or go to SPP's Q & A's at this link.

It's The Last Week to Show Your
Love for Mays Movie in the Park

May 28 - Saturday Night Fever (1977) - John Travolta was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor playing the weekend teen disco king. Be sure to wear your 70's attire & dancing shoes! Evening's music & dancing with Boxcar Hollow. Contest & award for best outfit!

It's been a great movie month, starting with Cocoon? at our new west side movie location. We expect a big crowd back downtown in North Straub Park for Saturday Night Fever so come early (music starts at 7 pm & movie at dusk)! Joey Vadder's photo, above, looking down on the crowd watching To Kill a Mocking Bird seems to say it all...we love Movies in the Park! 

Don't forget, you can purchase some great food from our local vendors or you can bring your own. Bring a blanket for the blanket only section or low seats can be used behind the blanket area. SPP encourages you to bicycle to Movies in the Park and to use the secure on-site bicycle valet parking available with the St. Pete Bike Co-Op! Thanks to all of our sponsors with big thanks to our Oscar level sponsors Sylvia Rusche State Farm Insurance and HCA West Florida.

Twilight On the Town

Summer Evening Walking Tours!


Steamy days make evenings seem even more pleasant! Enjoy the beautiful evenings by joining SPP for one of our monthly evening summer stroll walking tours. These shortened 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 food from a local business. Our next tour on Wednesday, June 17 takes in one of our favorite neighborhoods, Historic Kenwood

Historic Kenwood, the city's first designated artist enclave district, is known for its great collection of bungalow homes. The area is a great example of what makes St. Pete so special - its historic neighborhoods! Keeping these neighborhoods special for the future is one reason SPP is advocating amending the city's preservation ordinance to make the historic district application process a neighborhood friendly process. The Historic Kenwood Twilight on the Town tour starts at 6:30 at Cappy's Pizza, 2900 1st Ave. N. Come early or stay after the tour for some great pizza! Make your tour reservation!

July and August Twilight on the Town tour info will be in the next e-newsletter.

SPP walking tours are free to SPP members, just $5 for non-members. Reservations are recommended but not required.