Historic Preservation in the Old Northeast Neighborhood - St. Petersburg, FL

Dated: February 26 2024

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Posted by Sharon Fennell Kennedy: Monday, February 26, 2024: St. Petersburg, FL: Pinellas County

The City of St. Petersburg has a landmarking program called the Local Register of Historic Places. It is a listing of properties, neighborhoods, and buildings throughout the city that are historically and architecturally important.

Estelia Mesimer: RE/MAX Metro: St. Petersburg, FL: Pinellas County

RE/MAX Metro realtor Estelia Mesimer is an expert in historic St. Petersburg neighborhoods. Whether you are interested in waterfront properties, condos, or any of the iconic styles in the historic neighborhoods, Estelia is the person who can help you buy or sell. Having renovated many properties of her own, Estelia can guide you every step of the way in rehabbing a home.

Historic Districts and Landmarks in the Old Northeast

The Old Northeast has 10 local landmarks, and is home to Granada Terrace, a Local Historic District designated in 1988. Three one-block areas, the 200 Block of 10th Avenue NE, the 700 Block of 18th Avenue NE and Welch’s Mediterranean Row (100 Block of 19th Avenue NE), are designated as historic districts, and are important because they were designed by noted architects, are identified with people who contributed significantly to the city, and because they are reminders of our cultural heritage. According to the Old Northeast Historic Association the individual landmarks in the Old Northeast include:

The Vinoy Park Hotel, 501 5th Avenue NE

An excellent example of Mediterranean Revival architecture, the hotel opened on New Year’s Eve, 1925. Designed by architect Henry Taylor, it was the centerpiece of St. Petersburg’s skyline for many years. In the 1970s, it fell into disrepair and closed. Vacant for almost twenty years, its restoration and re-opening in 1992 were cause for celebration, particularly in the Old Northeast where the hotel is considered the cornerstone of the neighborhood.

The Jones-Laughner Residence, 556 Beach Drive NE

Built ca. 1909 by Dr. Louis Jones, City Physician and Health Officer, this home is an excellent example of Craftsman style architecture using rusticated concrete block construction. Virginia Burnside, a leader among St. Petersburg’s women who resided in the house during WWI, made significant contributions to the war effort. In the 1920s, the founder of the Vinoy Park Hotel, Aymer Vinoy Laughner, purchased the home for the use of hotel personnel. His son, Paul, and daughter-in-law eventually made it their home.

The Ridgely Residence, 600 Beach Drive NE

Dentist Roy Ridgely, builder of this home, was an “ardent booster of the Sunshine City”. He established the Eureka Stone and Paving Company, a pioneer in the concrete business in St. Petersburg. His Craftsman style home is an excellent example of the rusticated concrete block manufactured by his company.

The Robert West House (Pineapple House)

101 6th Avenue NE – This is the 1912 home of Robert West who designed the first concrete bridge and first concrete sea wall in St. Petersburg. His design talents were also applied to the first City-owned gas plant and plans for building and financing the city’s road system.

The Boyce Guest House, 635 Bay Street NE

Built in the mid to late teens, this vernacular style residence provided tourists with comfortable accommodations for twenty years following World War II. Almost thirty years later, the daughter of the earlier hosts and her husband purchased the home and established the Sunset Bay Inn.

The Thomas Whitted House, 656 1st Street N

Thomas Whitted, the builder of this 1911 vernacular style house, owned the largest lumber supply business in St. Petersburg. He and his wife, Julia, raised eleven children, one of whom was Albert who became an aviator and operated the first commercial charter air flights out of St. Petersburg’s airport (later named after him).

The Monticello Apartments, 730 3rd Street N

This c. 1909 Neoclassical Revival home is another example of rare rusticated concrete block construction. In the 1920s it was converted to apartments catering to seasonal guests, and after WWII, became home to a group of artists. Later returned to single-family use, it was moved from 3rd Avenue North to its current location in 2005.

The Pace Residence

705 16th Avenue NE – This 1932 home, designed by architect Elliott B. Hadley and built by Helen Pace Lawler and her husband, is an excellent example of the Mediterranean Revival style. One of the City’s earliest professional businesswomen, Mrs. Pace Lawler’s shop, Sherman’s, offered the latest in fashion to the women of St. Petersburg for over 50 years.

Sunken Gardens

1825 4th Street N – Plumber George Turner began gardening as a hobby, but eventually gave up the business to devote himself full-time to developing Turner’s Sunken Gardens, one of Florida’s famed “roadside attractions”. Originally specializing in fruits and tropical plants, over the years he added birds and other small animals to the attraction.

First Church of Christ, Scientist, 253 5th Avenue N

Currently known as the Palladium Theater, the building is an excellent example of Italian Renaissance style architecture. Designed by Howard Cheney and constructed by the George A. Fuller Construction Company in 1926, the floor plan is typical of early 20th century First Church of Christ, Scientist designs. For almost seventy years, the congregation worshipped at this location. In the 1990s, it was repurposed as the Palladium Theater.

Related Links:
How to Prepare Your House for Sale
10 Ways to Prep Your Home for Sale | HGTV
Finding Your New Home: Researching a Neighborhood before Buying  

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About the author: Sharon Fennell Kennedy is a real estate blogger for The Mesimer Team – REMAX/Metro in St. Petersburg, FL and grant writer specializing in non-profits. She enjoys antiquing and repurposing flea market finds, yoga, walking and reading. You can connect with Sharon on www.Estelia.com or www.sharon-kennedy.com

St. Petersburg Communities

Photo Courtesy of Historic Kenwood Neighborhood | Captured during Historic Ken… | Flickr St. Petersburg, FL: Pinellas County 

Allendale Terrace
Bahama Shores
Bayway Isles
Coquina Key
Crescent Heights
Crescent Lake
Downtown
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Kenwood
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Historic Uptown
Isla del Sol
Old Southeast
Placida Bayou
Snell Isle

If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one and are thinking of selling, talk to The Mesimer Team.

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Estelia Mesimer

Estelia is the epitome of hard work, high energy and integrity. She is a native of Colombia (SA), where she attended The Center for Engineering and Architecture in Cali and obtained a degree in Archit....

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