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Drive continues to brand Mirror Lake a local historic district

Bill DeYoung

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1930s-era Mirror Lake postcard. Florida Archives.

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.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    MICHAEL THOMAS ORTIZ

    June 23, 2021at4:40 pm

    COOL that Lake is Cool I use to go there to feed the Turtles thats Right next to the Red Cross Office where I went One Day Years Ago when I Lived in FLorida I asked the Red Cross Office Lady if they needed any help If they were hiring she told me No anyways that Lake MIRROR LAKE is around the Corner from Starbucks Coffee shop on 4th Street Right Did the Cops ever catch the bad guy who was attacking the women Joggers I hope so anyway I Walked around that Lake along the path trying to Protect the Residents when I was homeless & I THANK GOD I SURVIVED Yes I AM the POET Alive & WELL Living in Crestwood ILLinois I Left FLorida in 2011 on a GREYHOUND BUS Because Nobody would HIRE ME & I SAY SAVE THAT LAKE SAVE THEM TURTLES & Put up Security Camera’s with Knight Vision to Protect the children & the women 🙂

  2. Avatar

    Diane D

    June 23, 2021at4:41 pm

    The potential boundaries are 4th Street North on the east side, 1st Avenue North on the south side, and 8th Street North on the west side.

    • Bill DeYoung

      Bill DeYoung

      June 24, 2021at8:07 am

      Hi Diane: The proposed boundary map, showing those borders, has been added to the story.

  3. Avatar

    Rita Sewell

    June 24, 2021at1:23 pm

    So much of our downtown is in redevelopment. What will be the final number of units within DTSP is still not certain but once an area has been razed and a large tall unit has been erected we cannot go back, This particular area of our community is quaint and has a special vibe. I was born here 68 years ago and I value both progress and history. I am interested to know how many of the participants on the Tuesday call are primarily investors. Our town is ripe for the picking and if monied folks swoop in and buy up older homes near the lake with the ultimate goal of raze, rebuild, and then move on to the next big flip; we will see little of our history left. I know not every building is worth saving and size appropriate units could be an asset to the area. I just ask that the City considers the unique character of this area. I also have concerns about a heat dome that potentially could form in DTSP as we build these tall structures that absorb summer heat all day and then release it. We may find outdoors too hot to handle and rain bands passing us by.

  4. Avatar

    Jeffrey Frank

    June 25, 2021at7:56 am

    We hear the term “destination ” alot when speaking of development. Our originality plays a strong rule in that. Property owner know preservation is a risk or benifet when they acquired that property.

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