Historic Preservation

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History in the details

Historic preservation works to help identify, preserve, and promote the unique aspects of St. Pete, working with property owners, local businesses, public agencies, and community organizations to highlight the areas, architecture, structures, and stories that define St. Pete’s character. Forms and applications related to historic preservation can be found on the Planning & Zoning Applications page

Historic Preservation Map     Community Planning & Preservation Committee

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places, the “official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation,” is administered by the National Park Service. In order to be eligible for listing in the National Register, a property must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. During this evaluation, the resource’s age and historic integrity are examined, and the property must be shown to hold an association with events, activities, or trends that were important to the past. The listing of a property in the National Register does not place restrictions on a private owner’s future alterations unless Federal assistance is involved in the project.

Local Register of Historic Places

The St. Petersburg Register of Historic Places is a local designation program administered by City staff. Eligibility for the St. Petersburg Register, often referred to as “local landmark designation,” is established through a set of criteria that are closely modeled after the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. View the list of St. Petersburg Historic Places.

Unlike listing in the National Register, a resource’s designation as a local landmark provides properties with a degree of protection from unnecessary demolition or unsympathetic alterations by private owners. Historic preservation staff conducts reviews of proposed changes to locally designated properties through the issuance of Certificates of Appropriateness. 

Certificates of Appropriateness

The Certificate of Appropriateness Program is for qualifying historic properties and allows streamlined design review for certain rehabilitation or restoration projects. In addition, compatibility input and historic research are also available for qualifying historic properties at no additional cost. This benefit applies to property that is designated individually, or is located within a local historic district. Apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness on the Forms & Applications page.

Potentially Eligible Properties (PEL)

The identification and listing of historic properties potentially eligible for local landmark designation is authorized by City Code. The intent is to protect properties identified as individually eligible from the threat of demolition. Learn more about Potentially Eligible Properties and their processing procedures.

Design Guidelines

St. Petersburg Design Guidelines for Historic Properties includes an architectural styles section; information relating to maintenance and repair, additions and alterations, and new construction; a description of community characteristics; and an appendix including specific information relating to each of the City’s local historic districts. The National Park Service also provides Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Incentives

Grants and incentives related to historic preservation can be found on the Grants & Loans page for property owners

How to Research Historic Property

A Resident's Guide to Researching Historic Property is designed to help residents better understand the origins and history of their home or place of business. Whether it is located within one of the districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places or St. Petersburg Register of Historic Places, is an individual landmark, or is simply a well-loved space, uncovering the details of a building’s evolution between then and now can be a rewarding exercise that might even reveal some remarkable connections to the city’s social and developmental past.

Archaeology

The City advocates for archaeological protection and preservation and maintains an archaeological site inventory and location map that assigns levels of archaeological sensitivity for the various sites and makes recommendations for managing the identified archaeological resources.

Legacy Businesses

The identification and recognition of legacy businesses is an approach to preservation that celebrates the significance and contributions of longstanding local businesses, not just the spaces they inhabit. These legacy businesses have helped shape the character of the neighborhood they're located in and continue to serve today. A legacy business is defined as one that has been in existence for at least 50 years. Since these legacy businesses tend to have smaller margins and lack outside investors or shareholders, their continued success depends on community support. For more information contact history@stpete.org. 

Signs of Historic Significance

Some signs have become significant and iconic elements of the built environment in their own regard. Since policies regulating the size and placement of business signs have changed over the years, some of St. Pete’s most unique and recognizable signs have become nonconforming. In order to allow and encourage the continued use, maintenance, and preservation of these signs, the City has adopted regulations pertaining to Signs of Historic Significance.

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Markers and Monuments

Markers and monuments are important commemorations of an important event, person, or group who has made a significant contribution to the history and culture of St. Pete, the region, state, or nation. Markers and monuments also commemorate buildings or sites in the area of architecture and archaeology. The City's policy regulating markers and monuments are administered through the Urban Planning and Historic Preservation Division in partnership with the Cultural Affairs Director. View St. Petersburg’s Markers and Monuments.

Traditional Streetscapes

St. Pete began its brick paving of streets in 1903. Since brick streets add charm and character to the neighborhoods, City Council passed its first resolution in 1992 protecting against their removal, including granite curbs. Brick streets are now protected within all National Register and local historic districts. City Code Section 16.40.130

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