Monday, November 17, 2008

Save The Bay Gables and Henry-Bryan homes!

Saint Petersburg Preservation (SPP) has been in negotiations with the developer of a proposed hotel for the 100 block of 4th Ave. NE. There are two historic landmarks on this site, the Henry-Bryan Home and the Bay Gables Home (also known as the Chateau France Restaurant). While our preference would be that these landmarks remain in place, in an effort to strike a balance between development and historic preservation, SPP has taken the position that the landmarks should at least be relocated to an appropriate site. We have reached agreement on relocation of the Henry-Bryan, but have not reached agreement on the Bay Gables/Chateau France. The developer has taken the position that the Chateau France is too fragile to relocate. This past week we engaged a highly experienced expert in relocation of historic buildings to inspect the Chateau France. She is strongly of the opinion that the Chateau France can be relocated. This is a particularly important historic property because it has already been designated as a local landmark by the City. Demolishing the building unnecessarily would be a bad precedent.

The 1910 Bay Gables house is an architecturally significant example of middle class housing in St. Petersburg at the turn of the century. Originally designed in the Vernacular style as a single family residence, the house was altered in 1928 to include Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style detailing and accommodate a boarding house for seasonal tourists. This use strongly reflects the significance and importance of the tourist industry in St. Petersburg during the first half of the 21st Century. Bay Gables is also associated with a pioneer era merchant, and is a reminder of the role of the seasonal tourist in the development of St. Petersburg.

There will be a hearing regarding the proposed demolition of the Chateau France before the City Community Preservation Commission on Friday, November 21st, 1 PM, at City Hall, 175 5th Street, N. The proposed demolition of Chateau France is item # 10 on the agenda. We are urging all our members who can possibly do so to attend this hearing and speak in favor of the preservation of the Chateau France. If you cannot possibly attend the hearing, please send an email or letter to the following persons:

Mayor Rick Baker

Commissioner David Bacon

City Hall

Community Preservation Commission

PO Box 2842

St. Petersburg, FL 33731

City Council

PO Box 2842

St. Petersburg, FL 33731


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