Friday, December 26, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

A photograph of St. Petersburg's Christmas Tree going up in North Straub Park shortly after Thanksgiving this year, with the bay in the background:

Part of waterfront holiday decorations and celebrations that included a Glice skating rink.

Straub Park is named in honor of William L. Straub, the St. Petersburg Times editor who campaigned for public ownership of the waterfront. He endlessly promoted St. Petersburg and understood that an attractive waterfront would attract more tourists. Of the cities on the bay, with Tampa to the east, St. Petersburg to the west was the less industrial, the more reliant on tourist dollars. It was the "Sunshine City." In the 1910s and 1920s Straub pushed St. Petersburg's citizens and leaders to use urban planning and to invest public money in the environment to ensure the current and future prosperity of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County.
Further reading:
St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream, 1888-1950, by Raymond Arsenault (University Press of Florida 1999)

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