The Iconic St Petersburg Pier might be torn down listen02/03/10 Tom Baur
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:
The Grand Dame of all municipal icons, the St. Petersburg Pier is crumbling and falling apart. Her spindly concrete pilings are rotten. And The upside-down pyramid leaks. The Miami architectural team hired to find solutions offered six plans from $38 to $90 million to repair or replace her. To help offset the costs $50 million from Pinellas County will be available in 2012.
A sore subject for council member Wengay Newton has been the subsidies the city has had to spend to keep the pier open.
Some in attendance - including Charlotte Brown, who owns a business at the pier - pointed out that the current recession might be a bad time to spend the money on the pier. Plus, no deep pockets, eleventh-hour resurrection effort have appeared to spare her.
Built in 1927, St Petersburg’s Mediterranean Revival Million Dollar Pier became the symbol of St. Petersburg all over the world. In her long life the Pier attracted millions, hosted presidents, sports stars, power boat races, and regular folks out for a walk on a sunny day.
Some pier business owners spoke passionately of saving and reviving her. Willy Radkowsky and City Council member Steven Cornell expressed their wishes for the pier.
There are just a few more meetings before The City of St. Petersburg decides whether to redeem or destroy the 83-year-old pier.