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Tiki Central Forums Beyond Tiki Save Treasure Island, Florida!
Save Treasure Island, Florida!
Sailor Curt
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 50
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2005-08-12 12:02 pm   Permalink

Save Treasure Island, Florida!

Lovers of classic mid-century modern architecture and great old hotels/motels/signage may find the following story of interest:

The city of Treasure Island, Florida, is on the Gulf of Mexico, part of the Gulf Beaches near St. Petersburg. This city, an island just a few miles long, has remarkably preserved a dozen '50s "Space Age" Mid-Century Modern style structures, including unique motels and signs, and three Art Moderne causeway bridges that have already been determined to be eligible on the National Register of Historic Places.

Driving through this city is like going back in time to early Las Vegas, Palm Springs or Wildwood. It is really a remarkable find. The group of men who built these places back in the '50s were called, in fact, "The Rat Pack of Treasure Island," and postcards depicting some of these motels and places -- like the Surf, the Sands, and the Sea Chest -- are highly sought after today. And yet these places still look and feel the same today, even in some cases down to the original 50s furniture in the rooms!

***

Sadly, the article goes on to describe how big money corporate interests are looking to bulldoze the area and build more high-rise hotels, effectively reducing Treasure Island to just another cookie-cutter modern Flordia beach.

Full story with great photos can be found at:
http://www.recentpast.org/groups/treasure/

Sailor Curt

[ This Message was edited by: Sailor Curt 2005-08-12 12:09 ]


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Haole Kat
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 271
From: St Petersburg, FL
Posted: 2005-08-12 12:57 pm   Permalink

I'm just a few miles from TI...thanks for the heads-up...I always thought there was a different feel to alot of the buildings around there.

JG


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1362
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2005-08-12 2:40 pm   Permalink

Enjoy mid century Florida Architecture while it lasts. Especially if it is close to any body of salt water. I'd say its time for all TC Florida members to start taking photos of their favorite buildings and places. Because they are all going to be gone. Money talks, nostalgia walks... usually.

The only exception to the rule occurs in areas like Ybor City, where the corporate wonks realise that a Starbucks, or Urban Outfitters would look good in a turn of the century building. The middle of the road scenario is when they like the facade, but tear down the rest of the building and build a multi story monstrosity.

Good Luck Treasure Island...


 
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mahalomo
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 10, 2005
Posts: 70
From: SD, CA
Posted: 2005-08-12 7:33 pm   Permalink

The "Thunderbird" sign from that article is my favorite sign in the area. It's absolutely huge on the side of the hotel, although the hotel itself looks like it has had a remodel.


[ This Message was edited by: mahalomo 2005-08-12 19:34 ]


 
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Kono
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2005-08-12 7:44 pm   Permalink

I lived on Treasure Island for a couple of years in the early 90s. I didn't appreciate the architecture then as much as I would now. I think they overstate it a bit though. There are a bunch of really cool old buildings but I wouldn't say it's like "going back in time." On Sunset Beach there is a large club that was designed to look like it came from "The Flintstones." I hope they can keep the developers at bay for a little while longer.

There are tons of places in Florida where you can still get at least a taste of that mid-century feel. Take the Tamiami Trail from Tampa to Naples and you can find stretches where you really do feel like you've traveled back in time (without the tan thonged asses to distract you from the architecture).
_________________


 
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mahalomo
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 10, 2005
Posts: 70
From: SD, CA
Posted: 2005-08-13 1:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-08-12 19:44, Kono wrote:
(without the tan thonged asses to distract you from the architecture).




Save the tan thonged asses!


 
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Sailor Curt
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 50
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2005-08-18 10:33 am   Permalink

Quote:
Save the tan thonged asses!



If they become endangered, you and I can set up some sort of support group, I suppose! Not sure if there is a pun in there or not . . .

Sailor Curt


 
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