The city of St. Petersburg is proud to unveil its newest beacon of welcome to visitors from around the world. Today, Mayor Bill Foster and members of City Council joined St. Petersburg resident and businessman Bill Edwards in formally unveiling the gleaming 75 foot structure that is visible from just over a mile away.
St. Petersburg has similar welcoming structures at the terminus of I-175 and I-375 downtown that were placed in the 1980s. For this structure, Bill Edwards donated the $600,000 necessary for the monument which took less than five months to complete. Built on a secure foundation, the stucco and sea blue monument is expected to easily withstand severe weather such as hurricanes and high-wind thunderstorms that Florida is known for.
Even at night, the tower is highly visible from a distance, illuminated by 18 250-watt, 100K hour-rated induction lights, four multi-fixture LED lights at the dome and 250 linear feet of LED illumination on cornices.
When asked why he felt compelled to help St. Petersburg by donating the tower, Bill Edwards replied, “The timing was right. In addition to exponentially increasing tourism in Central Florida, the upcoming Republican National Convention will be bringing tens of thousands of visitors from other states to our beautiful waterfront city. Now and in the future, we must project the image of a diverse, exciting, economically refreshed St. Petersburg, and the tower is an impressive beacon of that image.”
A team of local businesses were assembled to handle the design and construction. Thomas Sign and Awning was chosen to create the conceptual design, provide structural engineering and assist with fabrication and installation. Hennessey Construction Services was contracted for the construction of the foundation and United Steel was given the task of structural fabrication. PHM, Inc. provided the electrical service extension. Morelli Landscaping handled the site preparation and sod.
“With unprecedented media attention and thousands of visitors focused on the Bay Area this upcoming week, this monument issues a warm welcome to those visiting the beautiful city of St. Petersburg, and will continue to do so well after next week’s convention has concluded,” said Mayor Bill Foster. “I’d like to thank local businessman and philanthropist Bill Edwards for his generous donation, and continuing commitment to his business endeavors in St. Petersburg.”