Following up on a proposal submitted last December by St. Petersburg City Council member Gina Driscoll, the City’s Urban Planning and Historic Preservation Division staff conducted a public information meeting Tuesday to explore the potential creation of a local historic district in the Mirror Lake neighborhood, which is bounded by 5th Avenue N, Beach Drive NE, Central Avenue and 9th Street N. The proposed historic district uses 8th Street and 4th Street as its western and eastern boundaries, respectively, with 5th Avenue N on the north border and 1st Avenue N on the south.
City Council unanimously voted 7-0 (Councilmember Robert Blackmon was absent) to proceed.
Once known as Reservoir Lake, the area’s central body of water provided nearly pure, spring-fed water to the area – bottled, water from the lake was transported and sold in the latter 19th century to places as far away as Cuba.
The Mirror Lake neighborhood was once the city’s social center. The library, built in 1915, was followed by the original home of St. Petersburg High School, the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, the Lyceum/Christian Church and St. Petersburg Junior High.
At Tuesday’s public information meeting, there was some opposition to the designation proposal from neighborhood residents and business owners, according to Derek Kilborn, the city’s Manager of Urban Planning and Historic Preservation. “Because of the format, there wasn’t a deep expression of the many different reasons why somebody might be opposed to the application,” Kilborn said. “But there were general statements to that effect.”
City Council will conduct a public hearing on Thursday, July 15 and decide whether to city-initiate the designation application for establishing a local historic district in the Mirror Lake neighborhood.