The Issue: Burnside Home
Neighborhood: Downtown St. Petersburg Historic District
City Council Member: Gina Driscoll Gina.Driscoll@stpete.org
Action You Can Take Now: Send a message to City Council firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Burnside assumed office as St. Petersburg's first female City Council person on July 1, 1920, almost two months before the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote was ratified. Her legacy continues in 2020 as St. Petersburg's city council includes, for the first time, a super-majority of female Council members - six members out of eight are women! She was also the first woman commissioner or council person elected south of the Mason Dixon line.
Virginia Burnside's home, built in 1914 at 136 5th Avenue North, was designated by City Council as a local landmark in January 2017 and declared a contributing structure to the Downtown National Register Historic District in 2004. The home is significant not only for its association with Virginia Burnside but also as a noteworthy early example of a Prairie style bungalow. Few buildings of its style and scale are found in St. Petersburg, particularly within the Downtown National Register District.
You can read the City Staff's report here: Burnside Residence Landmark Designation Staff Report.
At present there is no imminent threat to the Burnside Home, though the building's condition has deteriorated thru years of neglect by the previous owner, and all of its neighboring homes have been demolished. The current owner has assured Preserve the 'Burg that they recognize the building's importance and are committed to its preservation.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. This momentous anniversary offers an ideal occasion for our community to learn of Virginia Burnside's place in our city's and country's history, to appreciate her landmark home, and to work with the property owner to ensure the home continues to be a part of what makes St. Petersburg special.
WHAT PRESERVE THE ‘BURG IS DOING
PTB is raising awareness of Virginia Burnside's influential role in St. Petersburg's development and the architectural significance of her home as one of downtown's last remaining Prairie style buildings. We are also engaged in conversation with the property owner and the city to find the best way to preserve and reuse the home while still allowing for property redevelopment.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Citizen input is vital to efforts to Preserve the 'Burg. Make your voice heard today!