In 1954, modernist architect William Harvard won the American Institute of Architecture’s Award of Excellence for his design of the Williams Park band shell. Further up on First Avenue, we’re told about the locally founded 13 GREENBENCHMONTHLY.COM Women’s Town Improvement Association building (now the Scientology building), which housed the group who were integral in getting those all-important sidewalks built downtown during a time when horses regularly mingled with the townsfolk. Across the street at Williams Park, we learned that originally it was a place where you could tie up your cow or pig. It also evolved into an area where people gathered to play games like horseshoes and shuffleboard, which became so popular that eventually it spawned the still-popular St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club in 1924. We found out that in 1954, modernist architect William Harvard won the American Institute of Architecture’s Award of Excellence for his design of the Williams Park band shell; that our Mediterraneanstyle, open-air post office is one of only two in the nation still employing bicycles to deliver mail (the other is in San Diego); and that prior to our famous brick-paved streets, the roads were paved with shells taken from Native American shell mounds. A lot of interesting and fun facts were packed into the one-hour tour, providing a fresh perspective about our great city to even a longtime resident like myself. For information about joining St. Petersburg Preservation or taking a tour, go to stpetepreservation.org, check out their Facebook page or call 727-824-7802.
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