St. Petersburg Preservation (SPP) will be offering a wide choice of walking tours for the fall season. The tours are both entertaining and informative and one of the best deals in town – free to SPP members and just $5 for all others. Beginning October 4, a tour will be offered each Saturday morning through April. Saturday tours are approximately two hours, duration of other tours as noted. Tours, times and locations can be verified by checking upcoming events at the SPP website, www.stpetepreservation.org or by calling the SPP event line at 727 824 7802.
Saturday, October 4 & November 1 – The Original Downtown Walking Tour – starts at the entrance to the Saturday Morning Market (corner of 1st Ave. S. & 1st St.). Tour begins at 10 am. Tour participants will take a trip thru a portion of the St. Petersburg Downtown National Register Historic District between Central Avenue and 4th Avenue North seeing grand hotels, stately churches, and architectural treasures like the Snell Arcade, the Open Air Post Office, and the Veillard residence. See & learn how businesses and residents have reused historic buildings.
Saturday, October 11 & November 8 – The Waterfront Tour – starts at the entrance to the Saturday Morning Market (corner of 1st Ave. S. & 1st St.). Tour starts at 10 am. Tour participants will learn about the civic visionaries who transformed a working waterfront into one of the largest waterfront park systems in the country. In addition to seeing some of the best of the past tour goers will also have a chance to learn about some of the newest buildings gracing the waterfront and what the city has done to encourage good design and protection of waterfront views.
Wednesday, October 15 – Downtown Evening Stroll – starts in front of the Detroit Hotel (215 Central Ave.) Tour starts at 6 pm & will last approximately one hour. The popular summer stroll evening tour returns for a fall date; enjoy a stroll around downtown as fall weather returns while learning about the city’s history, experiencing its past and learning about the different architectural styles gracing the ‘Burg. Tour participants are welcome to stay after the tour to continue the conversation and to enjoy dinner or a drink at one of downtown’s popular spots.
Saturday, October 18 – The African-American Heritage Trail – starts/ends at Carter J. Woodson Museum, 2240 9th Ave. S. Tour starts at 10 am. The city’s newly established African-American heritage trail will be highlighted in this special third Saturday of the month tour. An often overlooked but important part of the city’s history is found along “the deuces”, 22nd Street South. The tour will be led by Jon Wilson, a former St. Petersburg Times journalist and Gwendolyn Reese, President of the African American Heritage Association of St. Petersburg, Inc. During the segregation era, 22nd Street South was the vibrant main street of St. Petersburg’s African American community. At its zenith about 1960, the street was home to more than 100 businesses. The tour will discuss the street’s importance and tell the story of African-Americans in St. Petersburg
Saturday, October 25 and Saturday, November 22 – Westward Ho to Historic Kenwood – starts/ends at Craftsman House Gallery, 2950 Central Ave. Tour starts at 10 am. The tour offers a chance for participants to enjoy the feel & character of Historic Kenwood, one of the country’s premier bungalow neighborhoods. The tour includes a stop inside one of the neighborhood’s restored bungalows. After the tour, guests can choose to enjoy a drink or lunch on the wonderful front deck at the Craftsman House, an “airplane” bungalow and the neighborhood’s original model home.
Friday, November 7 – Downtown Lunchtime Tour – starts/ends in front of Detroit Hotel (215 Central Ave.) Tour begins at noon and lasts approximately one hour. The first Friday of the month means it’s time for SPP’s special one hour lunchtime tour with historian Emily Elwyn. Tour goers will get a chance to see some of the best of the city’s architecture while being led by a historian offering a unique perspective on the growth of the ‘Burg.