Keeping Historic Driftwood Special
Creating a Historic District for a Special Neighborhood

City Council Public Hearing March 7 at 5:30 pm at City Hall

                                Send your message of Support Now.

Update - March 7, 2019 - City Council voted 6-2 tonight to approve the Driftwood historic district! The multi-hour hearing had a packed house, largely supporting the application and Council had received more than 600 messages of support for the district. Thank you to all who spoke up! Thanks to council members Darden Rice, Gina Driscoll, Steve Kornell, Amy Foster, Charlie Gerdes and Lisa Wheeler Bowman for voting yes for the district. A law suit filed at the end of the year challenging the application procedure remains pending.

St. Petersburg has a collection of special neighborhoods with a sense of place that can be felt as soon as one enters the neighborhood. One such neighborhood is Driftwood, located on Big Bayou just south of 22nd Avenue South. It is a neighborhood filled with history - historical, cultural and archaeological. Read below to find out about the efforts to make sure Driftwood stays special by becoming a local historic district and how you can help!

Significance of Driftwood (click here to see a short video about the neighborhood)

  • It's association with Mark Dixon Dodd, a nationally known artist who partnered with Archie Parish, an important local architect, to design the subdivision's original nineteen homes during the 1930's to 1940's (all still remain);
  • The neighborhood plan is an early example of designing with nature, a concept visually uniting all of its homes located within a coastal sub-tropical hammock and still retaining a dense tree canopy with an understory of lush jungle-like garden landscaping;
  • It was the site of and may still contain archaeological features from the 1800s pioneer homesteads of Abel Miranda and John Bethell who were the first permanent European settlers in lower Pinellas County;
  • It is the site of the February 1862 Civil War engagement between the U.S. Navy and the settlement of alleged blockade-runners, the only military action during the Civil War occurring within Pinellas County; and
  • The site of the neighborhood was used by Native Americans and there may still be prehistoric features and artifacts from the native settlement whose large shell mounds (located approximately 500’ to the west) were destroyed in the early 20th century.

Benefits of Local Historic District Designation

  • Designation encourages historic building reuse and discourages demolition of significant historic resources, helping to keep Driftwood and St. Petersburg special while maintaining our cohesive sense of identity;
  •  Property values in historic districts appreciate at a greater rate than in comparable non-designated neighborhoods, are less adversely affected by a real estate bust/crisis, and recover sooner than in other non-designated neighborhoods after a real estate bust;
  • Historic neighborhoods are typically diverse in income, race, ethnicity, age and family structure;
  • Designation provides tax incentives to encourage reuse and renovation. 

A group of Driftwood property owners, with assistance and support from Preserve the 'Burg, have filed a landmark district application for their historic neighborhood. You can help to make sure the district is approved by sending in your message of support - it's  simple to do by clicking on the link below. Thanks for doing your part! Ask your family and friends to do so too!

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Keep Driftwood & St. Pete Special.
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Preserve the 'Burg
P.O. Box 838
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
(727) 824-7802
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