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History of St. Petersburg  Florida


Waterside at Coguina Key St. Petersburg Florida 33705

St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2013 census
estimate, the population was 249,688,[2] making St. Petersburg the 5th most populous city in the
state of Florida and the largest city in Florida that is not a county seat[3] (the city of
Clearwater is the county seat). St. Petersburg is the second largest city in the Tampa Bay
Area, composed of roughly 2.8 million residents,[4] making it the second largest Metropolitan
Statistical Area in the state. It is also a popular vacation destination for both American and
foreign tourists.

The city is often referred to by locals as St. Pete. Neighboring St. Pete Beach formally shortened
its name in 1994 after a vote by its residents. St. Petersburg is governed by a mayor and city

The city is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to
mainland Florida to the north; with the city of Tampa to the east by causeways and bridges
across Tampa Bay; and to Bradenton in the south by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (Interstate 275),
which traverses the mouth of the bay. It is also served by Interstates 175 and 375, which branch
off I-275 into the southern and northern areas of downtown respectively. The Gandy Bridge,
conceived by George Gandy and opened in 1924, was the first causeway to be built across Tampa Bay,
connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa cities without a circuitous 43-mile (69 km) trip around the bay
through Oldsmar.

With an average of some 361 days of sunshine each year, and a Guinness World Record for logging the
most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days),[6][7] it is nicknamed "The Sunshine City".[8] Due to its
good weather and low cost of living, the city has long been a popular retirement destination, although in recent years the population has moved in a much more youthful direction.[9] American Style magazine ranked St. Petersburg its top mid-size city in 2011, citing its "vibrant" arts scene.[10]

The city was co-founded by John C. Williams, formerly of Detroit, who purchased the land in 1876,
and by Peter Demens, who was instrumental in bringing the terminus of a railroad there in 1888. St. Petersburg was incorporated on February 29, 1892, when it had a population of only some 300 people.
St. Petersburg, Florida


Downtown St. Petersburg is the Central Business District, containing high rises for office use,
most notably the tallest building in the city, One Progress Plaza. The Tampa Bay Times newspaper
City hall
It was named after Saint Petersburg, Russia, where Peter Demens had spent half of his youth. A
local legend says that
John C. Williams and Peter Demens flipped a coin to see who would have the honor of naming the
city.[11] Peter Demens won and named the city after his home, while John C. Williams named the
first hotel after his birthplace,
Detroit (a hotel built by Demens[12]). The Detroit Hotel still exists downtown, but has been turned
into a condominium. The oldest running hotels are the historic Pier Hotel, built in 1921, formally
Hotel Cordova and The Heritage Hotel, built in 1926.

Philadelphia publisher F. A. Davis turned on St. Petersburg's first electrical service in 1897 and
its first trolley service in 1904.[13] The city's first major industry was born in 1899 when Henry
W. Hibbs (1862–1942), a native of Newport, North Carolina, established his wholesale fish business at the end of the railroad pier, which extended out to the shipping channel. Within a year, Hibbs Fish Company was shipping more than 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of fish each day.

Dredging of a deeper shipping channel from 1906 to 1908 opened St. Petersburg to larger shipping.
Further dredging improved the port facilities through the 1910s. By then the city's population had
quadrupled to 4,127.

In 1914, airplane service across Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg to Tampa and back was initiated,
generally considered the first scheduled commercial airline flight. The company name was the St.
Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, and the pilot was Tony Jannus, flying a Benoist XIV flying boat. The
Tony Jannus Award is presented annually for outstanding achievement in the airline industry. Jannus Live, a local music/entertainment venue on Central Avenue in downtown, is als after him.

The city population continued to multiply during the 20th century, booming in the 1940s and 1950s
and through the 1970s became a popular retirement destination for Americans from midwestern cities,
reaching 238,647 in the 1980 census. By th however, the population had levelled off, and has grown
by only 10,000 since then. In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the population of the city dropped by approximately 4000 residents, while in the same period the population of Florida increased by over two and a half million residents.
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