St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg, Florida

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of St. Petersburg
other_name =
native_name =
nickname = Florida's Sunshine City
settlement_type =
motto = Always in Season

imagesize = 300px
image_caption = Night view of the downtown skyline

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mapsize =
map_caption = Location in Pinellas County and the state of Florida

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = flag|Florida
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = noflag|Pinellas County
subdivision_type3 =
subdivision_name3 =
subdivision_type4 =
subdivision_name4 =
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Rick Baker
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
leader_title2 =
leader_name2 =
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established_title = Founded
established_date = 1876
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = February 29 1892
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
area_magnitude =
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area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 344.7
area_land_km2 = 154.4
area_water_km2 = 190.2
area_total_sq_mi = 133.1
area_land_sq_mi = 59.6
area_water_sq_mi = 73.4
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
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area_metro_km2 =
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population_as_of = 2006
population_footnotes =
population_note =
population_total = 248,098
population_density_km2 = 1606.8
population_density_sq_mi = 4162.7
population_metro = 2.7 million
population_density_metro_km2 =
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban =
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timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
longEW= W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 13.4
elevation_ft = 44
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code = 727
blank_name =
blank_info =
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website =
footnotes =
St. Petersburg (often shortened to St. Pete) is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The city is known as a vacation destination for North American and European vacationers, as well as a politically important battleground in U.S. Presidential politics. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 248,232. As of 2006, the population estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau is 248,098. [] The 2007 Cenus stated that the population of St. Petersburg increased to 249,079. [] That information made St. Petersburg the fourth largest city in the state of Florida and the largest city in Florida that is not a county seat. St. Petersburg is the second largest city in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is composed of roughly 2.7 million residents in the core, making it the second largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the state.

The city is commonly referred to by locals as "St. Pete"; neighboring St. Pete Beach, Florida formally shortened its name in 1994 after a vote by its residents.

The city is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to the mainland to the north, connected with the city of Tampa, Florida to the east by causeways and bridges across Tampa Bay, and to Bradenton, Florida 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 of 275 into the southern and northern areas of downtown respectively. The Gandy Bridge, conceived by George Gandy and opened in 1924, is the first causeway to be built across Tampa Bay, connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa cities without a circuitous convert|43|mi|km|sing=on trip around the Bay through Oldsmar.

With a purported average of some 360 days of sunshine each year, it is nicknamed "The Sunshine City." [ [ The Sunshine City ] ] For that reason, the city is a popular tourist, and retirement destination, especially for those in the United States from colder Northern climates – particularly New York City, Detroit, and Chicago. However, in recent years the population has shifted in a more youthful direction.


The city was co-founded by John C. Williams, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, 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.

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. ["A founding grandfather lives in lore." MONICA DAVEY. St. Petersburg Times (Florida). LARGO-SEMINOLE TIMES; Pg. 6. May 23, 1994.] Peter Demens won and named the city after his birthplace, while John C. Williams named the first hotel after his birthplace, Detroit (a hotel built by Demens [ [ Historical Marker Database] ] ). 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.cite book
first=Scott Taylor
title=Remembering St. Petersburg, Florida: Sunshine City Stories
publisher=The History Press
chapter=Frank Allston Davis: He Lit Up the Town
pages=p. 53
] 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 a thousand pounds (454 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 commercial airline. 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 Landing, a local music/entertainment venue on Central Avenue in Downtown, is named after aviation pioneer Tony Jannus.

The city population continued to multiply during the twentieth century. Booming in the 1940's and 50's with the advent of air-conditioning fact|date=October 2007 and through the 1970s as the town became a popular retirement destination for Americans from midwestern cities, reaching 238,647 in the 1980 census. By the 1980s, however, the population had levelled off, and has grown by only 10,000 since then, primarily as a result of being "built-out".

Geography and climate

St. Petersburg is located at coor dms|27|46|56|N|82|40|3|W|city (27.782254, -82.667619)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 133.1 square miles (344.7 km²)— 59.6 square miles (154.4 km²) of it is land and 73.4 square miles (190.2 km²) of it (55.19%) is water.

St. Petersburg is represented by teams in four major professional sports. One, the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball, plays in St. Petersburg proper, while the other three play across the bay in Tampa. All of the teams are considered to represent the entire Tampa Bay metropolitan area. The Rays began play in 1998, but have yet to be a major contender - finishing last in the American League's East Division in eight of the nine seasons they have played. Until 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays played their regular season games at Tropicana Field and their Spring Training games at Progress Energy Park, giving them the unique distinction of being the only team in Major League Baseball that played its Spring Training games in their home city in more than 70 years. However, starting in 2009, the Rays will host Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, ending 94 years of springtime baseball in the city.

Tropicana Field, the home venue of the Rays, played host to the 1999 Final Four. St. Petersburg is also home to the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the inaugural race was held in April 2005. The circuit itself is made of downtown streets passing Progress Energy Park, the marina, and a runway in Albert Whitted Airport, and streets are temporarily blocked off for the annual Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series race, which was last held on April 6, 2008. The race has been confirmed to return every year until at least 2013.

"See the Tampa Bay Area page for more details."

St. Petersburg is the home of many past, present, and future sports icons. In the area of hails the WBC and IBF Light Middleweight Champion Ronald "Winky" Wright and IBF, IBO, and WBO Champion Jeff Lacy. Football is a big interest in the area. Ernest Givins, Stacey Simmons, William Floyd, and Pat Terrell are some of the famous retired NFL players from the city. Shaun King, Marquell Blackell, Aveion Cason, Darren Howard, Tim Carter, Kenny Heatly, and DeAndrew Rubin are some players currently in the NFL from the city. Sam Smith, Andre Hall, Pat Watkins, Jason Teague, Chris Davis, Billy Henderson, Chris C. Davis, Omonigho Imeokparia, Jovon Jackson, Marcello Church, Deonte Bolden, Kevon Marion, Jeremy Biandudi, and Ralph "Ricky" Willams are some players looking to enter the NFL in the next couple of years. Current Rays pitcher Doug Waechter is also from St. Pete, as well as Minnesota Twins pitcher Boof Bonser. Indy Racing League driver and 2005 Indianapolis 500 Champion Dan Wheldon resides in St. Pete as well.

The Bay Area Pelicans Rugby Football Club has also made their home in St. Petersburg since 1977. The Pelicans play in USA Rugby's Division II competing against teams throughout Florida and the United States. Throughout its history, the teams have won honors as Florida Cup Champions as well as berths in National Championship Tournaments.fact|date=April 2008

Despite not having a team in the city since 2000 (with the St. Petersburg Devil Rays), St. Petersburg is also home to Minor League Baseball's main headquarters. [cite web |url= |title=Minor League Baseball Official Info: Office |accessdate=2008-04-25 |] It is located on Bayshore Drive, adjacent to Progress Energy Park and its parking lot.


ister cities

* Takamatsu, Japan
* Saint Petersburg, Russia "

Notable residents

* Ron Plaza, former Major League Baseball player and minor league manager
* Mike Alstott, retired professional football player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
* Rolando Arrojo, former baseball player, one of the first free agents signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
* Lynn Barry, basketball player
* Angela Bassett, actress
* Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins band member
* Charlie Crist, current Governor of Florida
* Linda Crockett aka Christina Crockett, writer
* Michael France, film screenwriter
* Hobart Freeman, Author and charismatic preacher
* Ernest Givins, former football player
* Dwight Gooden, Baseball player
* Nicole Haislett, Olympic gold medalist in swimming
* Bob Devin Jones, playwright
* Jack Kerouac, leading figure of the beat generation
* Casey Kotchman, Major League Baseball player
* Jeff Lacy, professional boxer
* Tony Little, fitness guru
* John Loftus, former U.S. Justice Department Nazi war crimes prosecutor, the president of the Florida Holocaust Museum, and terrorism expert
* Gordon Mackenzie, former Major League Baseball player and minor league manager
* Jim Morrison, lead singer from the Doors
* Johnny Nee, Baseball scout
* Ray Robson, a young chess master
* Charles Roser, cookie maker, real estate developer, and philanthropist
* Randy Savage "Macho Man", former American professional wrestler
* Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia
* Dan Wheldon, Indy Racing League driver
* Winky Wright, professional boxer
* Omali Yeshitela, civil rights activist
* Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning


External links

* [ City of St. Petersburg official site]
* [ St. Petersburg, Fla. Wikitravel Page]
* [ "St. Petersburg Times" website – corporate history] .
* [ St. Petersburg Museum of History]
* [ The St. Petersburg Arts Center]
* [ Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg]
* [ Salvador Dali Museum]
* [ Honda Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg]
* [ Pinellas County Geographic Information System]

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