Garden Cafe Demolished

According to St. Petersburg Preservation, because the building's owners were able to sell the Garden Cafe, it was demolished

While the Garden Cafeteria hasn't been used as a cafe in 40 years, its history is a part of St. Petersburg. 

Today, that part of the city's history came crashing to the ground after it was demolished after the lot was sold. 

According St. Pete Preservation board member Kai Warren, the structure’s architecture helped make St. Petersburg unique. The building was located on 2nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue N. 

Inside, the tropical walls were painted by historic local artist George Snow Hill, who also has a painting still hanging in City Hall. 

According to Warren, with the sale of the building, the Pendergast family demolished the structure. 

"It's really a unique building," Warren told Patch. "You don’t see many mission-style structures of that size in St. Petersburg."

The cafe's building, also known as the piano exchange building, was built in 1923 and was originally The First Baptist Tabernacle, Warren said. 

In the 30s the church became an auto garage and then morphed into the tropical-style cafeteria. Warren said the cafeteria was last used in the late 70s, which then became the piano exchange. 

Warrens laments the demolition of the structure because he says a part of the city's character is demolished with the building. 

"When you start losing those type of structures, then you become like all other modern, bland towns," Warren said. 

Donald H August 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Another example of an historic structure being sacrificed in the name of advancement..! Too damned bad it was leveled...!
Bill H. August 22, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I guess it's too bad as the murals are gone, but what do you do with a building that has no use? The roof made rehab a financial hrdship I'm told. With the murals it would have made great art space, but then where do you hang the new art for sale???
Lindsey Schultz August 22, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Any ideas what will replace it?


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