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Tour the Historic YMCA Today

If the promoters are not successful in their fundraising effort, the downtown YMCA building faces demolition.

In October, a local group hoping to save the historic YMCA announced that it was hoping to turn the building into The St. Petersburg Rock and Roll Museum. The building would serve as a museum, music/event space and even a studio.

Today from 2 - 4 p.m., the St. Petersburg Preservation, Awake Pinellas and Historic YMCA will be hosting a free open house with continuous walking tours at the Historic YMCA building in downtown St. Petersburg.

On Oct. 2 Thomas Nestor, CEO of Nofoes Productions/Media Group, and his group signed an agreement for the building with the first down payment due in November, $20,000. A closing date is set for June 2013, which during that time Nestor said the group needs to raise $1.4 million. 

Should Nestor and co. not fundraise $20,000 by Nov. 15, the historic building faces demolition.

Nestor said a bank has an agreement in place should he fail. That agreement calls for the building to be demolished and be replaced by a bank. 

The group posted a message on Facebook about today's open house at the Historic YMCA. 

These tours may be the last opportunity for the public to see this ornate building which is threatened with demolition. The tours will allow a “last” chance for the public to see the ornate detailing, tile and iron work and pecky cypress beams that make this building unique. All tours will be guided.

Background: The Mediterranean Revival styled building, located at 116 5th Street S., St. Petersburg, FL, was constructed in 1927 for $550,000 and served the YMCA until 2001. Pecky cypress wood beams and tile were used throughout the interior of the building, especially in the entrance lobby, and much of this decoration still remains. The building includes a large, decorative tile swimming pool. In addition to its architectural features, the building is remarkable in that it was one of the largest community funded projects in the City and was successfully built as the ‘20's “bust” was descending. 

Today, although vacant, the building still stands as one of the architectural gems of downtown St. Petersburg and serves as a public and physical reminder of our city's deep and rich culture. The building was among the first structures designated as a St. Petersburg landmark, having been designated in1990. An application by the ownership group was filed on October 1, 2012 to demolish the building and to allow for the construction of a drive-in banking facility. The application is scheduled for a public hearing on November 16th before the St. Petersburg Community Preservation Commission (CPC) which will vote whether or not to grant the application and to allow for demolition of the Historic YMCA building.

J. W. Roberts November 11, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Soon there will no remnants left of the glorious architecture of Historic St. Petersburg. St. Pete will become a city with no past, due to those who fail to treasure the uniqueness of these notable old buildings. For decades St. Pete has been on a quest to modernize itself while it ignores its true gems, which cannot be duplicated today. Too bad they did not have the foresight many years ago to preserve these landmarks, which could have drawn many visitors to the area.
Dennis Roberts November 11, 2012 at 11:26 PM
I agree with the above. We know that the Pier is on the wrecking ball agenda. What will be next? The Snell Building? The open air post office? Very sad.

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