With the support of the Lang’s Bungalow Court neighborhood, St. Petersburg Preservation (SPP) submitted today an application to designate Lang’s Bungalow Court as a St. Petersburg landmark district. The city only has two other landmark districts, Historic Roser Park and Granada Terrace. “It seems particularly appropriate for St. Petersburg to presently recognize the neighborhood developed by Al Lang and where he lived for many years as 2014 marks 100 years since Lang, one of St. Petersburg’s most famous mayors, succeeded in bringing spring training baseball to St. Petersburg,” stated Emily Elwyn, SPP’s president. Additionally Elwyn noted, “Recent demolition threats to two of the neighborhood’s historic homes for expanded parking for the Free Clinic highlight the need to protect the neighborhood from incompatible development.” A demolition application for one of the threatened homes was recently denied by the city. SPP and the neighborhood have engaged the Free Clinic in an effort to identify alternative locations for their parking needs.
Lang’s Bungalow Court may be St. Petersburg’s smallest historic neighborhood, encompassing only about a dozen homes, nonetheless, the neighborhood is a treasure in having remarkably retained its integrity of feeling, design, workmanship, materials and setting.
The Court stretches between 4th Avenue North, just east of MLK St., and the alley to the south. Lang’s home has been fully restored and remains a standout feature of the neighborhood.
The “bungalow court” was designed and became popular in southern California in the early1900’s. Lang’s Bungalow Court is the only known bungalow court in St. Petersburg and one of the few ever designed in the Tampa Bay area. Al Lang began to promote and develop the neighborhood in 1912. As with Lang’s Bungalow Court, the striking feature to this neighborhood type is that its bungalow homes open onto a tree-lined central pedestrian walkway with auto access limited to the rear/alley access.
To celebrate and to “show off” the neighborhood, SPP and the Lang’s Bungalow Court neighbors are having a “porch” party on Thursday evening, March 6. The event will include a brief talk about the neighborhood’s history, neighborhood tours, including Al Lang’s historic home, light food and two drink tickets for beer, wine or soft drinks. Cost is $10 for SPP members and $15 for non-members. The event will be from 6 to 8 pm. Reservations can be made by going to the SPP website calendar, www.stpetepreservation.org or RSVP’s can be made by calling 727 463-4612.