Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg gives Jennie Hall Pool historic designation

ST. PETERSBURG — The future of the city's only pool built for African-Americans during segregation appears secure after a unanimous vote Thursday by the City Council granting it landmark status.

Jennie Hall Pool, which was built in 1954 in Wildwood Heights, now has a historic designation that makes it more difficult to close or demolish. That status could become important because Mayor Bill Foster is considering a plan to close some city pools and open a couple of large regional aquatic parks in their place. Initially, he had objected to granting Jennie Hall the historic designation, but changed his mind in September after neighborhood leaders and preservations protested.

After Thursday's vote, a group that pushed for the Jennie Hall designation exchanged hugs in the hallway.

"I'm blessed," said Lillian Baker, the president of the Wildwood Heights Neighborhood Association. "What I was struck by was that the entire council not only voted for this, but spoke up in support of it."

Each council member enthusiastically supported the proposal.

"This is a real easy vote," council member Steve Kornell said. "Jennie Hall Pool means a lot to the entire community."

Several residents who recalled segregation spoke about the importance of the pool, which was built at 2650 10th Ave. S with the help of Jennie Hall, a white retiree from the Midwest. Hall donated $25,000 so African-American residents could have a place to swim. They weren't allowed at whites-only pools.

"A lot of black history has been lost," said Kevin Johnson. "We have to preserve our history. If we don't preserve our history, we lose it."

Foster didn't speak during the presentation.

"There are just too many voters (in southern St. Petersburg)," said council member Wengay Newton. "He knew he was going to lose this one."

St. Petersburg gives Jennie Hall Pool historic designation 12/01/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 2:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  2. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery

    Ml

    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]
  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Busted: How a Times photographer captured Donald Trump's fake news

    Blogs

    Tampa Bay Times photojournalist Scott Keeler was on assignment last summer for a story about Donald Trump’s presence in Palm Beach, a tale of glamour and conflict. Along the way he inadvertently captured evidence of a …

    Near the main entrance at Mar-a-Lago, the fake Time magazine cover is on display in July 2016.
  5. Jones: Steve Yzerman's plan for getting the Lightning back into the playoffs

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Seems like forever since the Lightning played a hockey game.

    If the Lightning season started right now, would Steve Yzerman be happy with what he has? "We're still a couple of players short,'' Yzerman said.. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]