“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sarasota in Sarasota County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Paul N. Thorpe Jr. Park

Paul N. Thorpe Jr. Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, February 26, 2020
1. Paul N. Thorpe Jr. Park Marker
No one in the past half century has been a champion of downtown Sarasota and contributed more to its successful revitalization and redevelopment than Paul N. Thorpe Jr., thereby earning him the nickname of “Mr. Downtown.” Born and raised in Germantown, PA. Paul, a graduate of Penn State, is very proud to be a veteran having served his country in active duty with the Navy in World War II. He moved to Sarasota in 1969 and began a business career in the downtown at a time when retailers were moving to the suburbs, leaving behind empty storefronts. In 1974, Paul along with a group of bankers and business owners met to work on a plan to make downtown more attractive to lure merchants and people back. This meeting resulted in the creation of the Downtown Association (DTA). In addition to being a co-founder of the DTA, he served as a longtime Board member, President and for 12 years as its Executive Director. Paul’s strategy was to create events which would bring people downtown. An early success was “Old Fashioned Days,” started in the late 1970s which enjoyed tremendous support from downtown merchants and encouraged
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people to return downtown. During his 28-year association with the DTA, Paul was instrumental in the creation of Bicentennial Park, now known as the Lemon Avenue Mall, the Saturday morning Downtown Farmers Market, a Downtown City Master Plan, a Rosemary District Master Plan, Shelby Five Points Park, downtown streetscape to provide shade trees and beautification, the King Neptune Festival, the City’s December Holiday Parade, the New Year’s Midnight Pineapple Drop, the 4th of July fireworks in Bayfront Park, the Suncoast Offshore Celebration, connecting Main Street and Ringling Boulevard to Bayfront Drive/U.S. 41, relocating the Selby Public Library downtown, bringing the Ritz Carlton Hotel to downtown redevelopment to municipalities statewide. Since retiring from the DTA in 2002, Paul continues to be involved in downtown events, offering his valuable insight and institutional knowledge. Thank you, Paul Thorpe, for a downtown where the crossroads of live, work and play have become a reality. The entire Sarasota community admires and respects this gentleman we know and love as “Mr. Downtown.”

In honor of the renaming of Pineapple Park as the “Paul N. Thorpe Jr. Park,” in recognition for his commitment, hard work and leadership role in vitalizing, beautifying, promoting and protecting downtown Sarasota.
June 19, 2017

Paul N. Thorpe Jr. Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, February 26, 2020
2. Paul N. Thorpe Jr. Park Marker
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkParks & Recreational Areas.
Location. 27° 20.109′ N, 82° 32.463′ W. Marker is in Sarasota, Florida, in Sarasota County. Marker is at the intersection of S Pineapple Avenue and S Lemon Avenue, on the right when traveling west on S Pineapple Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 135 S Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota FL 34236, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Methodist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Worth's Block (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Seaboard Railway Depot (about 700 feet away); City of Sarasota (about 800 feet away); Historic Palm Tower (approx. 0.2 miles away); American National Bank (approx. 0.2 miles away); John D. MacDonald 1916-1986/John D. and the Friday Liars (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sarasota War Memorial/The Doughboy (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sarasota.
Paul N. Thorpe Jr. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sarasota Herald-Tribune
3. Paul N. Thorpe Jr.
This appears to be the same photo used on the marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 22, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 121 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 22, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A clear, readable close-up of the marker. • Can you help?

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Jun. 7, 2023