At a fundraiser last week for Ken Welch, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster told SaintPetersBlog that he will not let the Pier close before May 2013. Foster was attempting to put to rest rumors spreading that the infamous landmark may shut its doors as early as October 2012. For a place that is known for having infrequent visitors at best, it certainly seems to be important to many St. Petersburg locals now.
I have been hearing about a few more events and draws gracing the Pier in the past few months, but I’ve only been there about three times in the past year. Each time, I found it to be a great place to go if you want to be alone. Unless, of course, it’s during one of the few fireworks displays put on by the City each year.
I’ve heard others voice concerns that closing the building down too soon could cause a nuisance to the City. Some have expressed that the little revenue that comes in from the existing shops and restaurants is far better than having the place boarded up, fenced off, needing security guards to keep criminal activity and vandalism from taking place.
I find it fascinating that a location that is famous for its lack of visitors has drawn so much attention from City residents. I understand it, though. I’m a native from around these parts, and my father, Thomas Street, was a local muralist who has one of his more well-known commercial works high up on this Pier’s walls, depicting the long history and structures of the St. Petersburg Pier through time.
I don’t think it will matter much when this structure of the Pier finally closes its doors for good to make way for the next incarnation. I do understand that many of us will miss the inverted pyramid in our skyline. I suspect that generations before us missed their version of the St. Petersburg Pier, too, when progress and modernization deemed that change and better utilization meant more than nostalgia.
— Via Daphne Taylor Streets. Daphne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.