Monday, August 25, 2008

Mid-Century West Coast Florida - St. Petersburg Pier

This week I'm sharing some postcard views of Florida's west coast, images from the 1940s and '50s. Each day, Monday through Friday, comes a new scene from the Sunshine State's tourist past.

This undated card comes from a booklet of St. Petersburg scenes. More developed blog posts I've written about that city include notes on the following:

  • St. Petersburg overview: "St. Pete was ... covered with the thick patina of older memories and places: sprawling waterside mansions and stuccoed hotels, bustling downtown restaurants filled with shoppers and strollers, and a strict racial geography that distilled the world below Central Avenue into South St. Pete."

  • St. Petersburg Pier: "The St. Petersburg Pier has long fascinated me. Growing up nearby, I remember visiting the famed local hangout and tourist attraction with my mom. But this was the 70s, and the pier had been remade into its current iteration as an inverted pyramid. Only while flipping through postcards at a local antique shop did I discover the older 'Million Dollar Pier,' which had been built in 1926 and demolished a year before I was born."

  • Webb's City: "[D]uring its heyday, Webb's City was renowned (and attacked) for its 'stack it high and sell it cheap' philosophy and its fearlessly tacky gimmicks that included dancing chickens, mermaids, and dollar bill-sales (95 cents per buck). Webb's City was a southern tradition."

  • Aunt Hattie's: "Aunt Hattie's was a St. Petersburg landmark since opening in 1939 as a hamburger joint. By the time my mother made a habit of visiting in the 1970s, Aunt Hattie's had a new building and had expanded to become a pleasant sit-down restaurant known for its toy chest. I remember waiting for my chance to seize a prize after I cleaned my plate."
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