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Detroit Hotel is a landmark by any measure

Detroit worthy of historic designation | March 7, editorial

A true landmark by any measure

This letter is in appreciation of your editorial. The Detroit Hotel was the first major building constructed in St. Petersburg and the only building dating from the city's birth still remaining downtown. It is associated with two of the city's founders, John C. Williams, a native of Detroit, after which the hotel is named, and the Russian-American Peter Demens. Our city is named after St. Petersburg, Russia, because of the influence of Demens.

For a great many years the Detroit served as the city's social and cultural center. More recently the Detroit's Jannus Landing has established the Detroit site as an important music venue. All in all, it is the most historic building in the city, and this is the city's most important landmark designation ever.

It is regrettable that some of the owners of the Detroit did not support the landmarking, perhaps because of the current zoning allowing the possibility of a high-rise building on the site at some future date. While zoning does allow for such a possibility, it is not automatic. The same ordinance that establishes maximum densities also contains the preservation landmark process, and the density provisions are qualified by that.

As was discussed extensively during the City Council hearings, there are many benefits to landmarking, including tax waivers and credits, development credits and building code flexibility. St. Petersburg Preservation and the city have offered to work with the owners to fully access these benefits.

The Times is right in noting that there have been spectacular renovations of historic properties, including the Vinoy, the Snell Arcade and the Flori-de-Leon. There is also considerable research showing that properties designated as historic appreciate in value at a greater rate.

St. Petersburg Preservation wishes to thank the many residents and elected officials who supported and helped accomplish this most significant landmarking. In particular we wish to thank the Community Preservation Commission and the City Council for their unanimous votes of approval, and Mayors Rick Baker and Bill Foster for their support. This was truly a community labor of love.

Will Michaels, immediate past president, and Maureen Stafford, president, St. Petersburg Preservation

Police chase policy

Chase gone awry should give pause

Maybe the mayor and police chief of St. Petersburg will readdress this ill-conceived policy after what happened in Clearwater this month.

Only by some miracle were the lives of innocent civilians spared. What started off as a simple DUI stop led to a multicar police chase that resulted in many thousands of dollars in damage and injuries to three people.

Hopefully we will not have "Game On" coming to the streets of St. Petersburg any time soon.

Tom Biniak, St. Petersburg

Savings in Boyd Hill cuts depend on the counting March 3

Gender disparity isn't right or fair

Let me see if I understand this right: The two male rangers who were reassigned got pay increases while the two female rangers were forced to take a pay cut.

Hello, this is not right or fair. Oops, forgot, this is the city of St. Petersburg, and this is how they do business. It's not bad enough that they take away what benefits the citizens; they have to discriminate against women, too.

Shame, shame, shame.

Sylvia Fies, St. Petersburg

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Detroit Hotel is a landmark by any measure 03/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 13, 2010 3:31am]
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