Tarpon Springs in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Tarpon Springs Historic District
The Tarpon Springs Historic District is comprised of two historic elements, the early winter resort and the downtown commercial district. Tarpon Springs’ original plan was laid out by Mathew Marks, a business associate of landowner Hamilton Disston. Envisioning Tarpon Springs as a winter destination for wealthy northerners, Disston and his associates invested in the town’s development, and by the late 1800s, it became the largest town on the Pinellas Peninsula. The focal point of the booming resort town was Spring Bayou. The unique, elevated topography along the bayou’s banks allowed for the construction of large Victorian-era homes, which created an elegant residential district and earned it the nickname the “Golden Crescent.” Many houses along the bayou had ornately designed boathouses, all of which are gone. Notable among the residences is a large shingle-style house built by New Yorker George Clemson, and a number of well-maintained Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Frame Vernacular style homes. The waters of Spring Bayou have been the focus of various events, ranging from boat races and dramatic entertainment on floating
As the Spring Bayou area grew as a residential destination, the downtown commercial district, originally situated along Tarpon Avenue between the city dock and the railroad station, also expanded. The Orange Belt Railroad Station was built in 1888, but burned down in 1908. The Atlantic Coast Line Depot was built in 1909 at the corner of Tarpon and Safford avenues and later became the home of the Tarpon Springs Historical Society. The population in Tarpon Springs exploded in the early 1900s, particularly due to the influx of Greek immigrants tied to the growing sponge industry. Many buildings constructed from the 1910s to the 1920s remain. Exceptional examples include the G.W. Fernald Building, the Old Tarpon Springs City Hall (now the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center), the Meres Building, and the Shaw Arcade. The Greek presence likewise influenced the character of the downtown. The district’s largest and most architecturally significant building is the Byzantine Revival style St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, built in 1943. The Tarpon Springs Historic District was designated as a local historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Erected 2017 by Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board and the Florida Department of State. (Marker
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1990.
Location. 28° 8.77′ N, 82° 45.377′ W. Marker is in Tarpon Springs, Florida, in Pinellas County. Marker is on East Tarpon Avenue just east of Pinellas Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tarpon Springs FL 34689, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Craig Park War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Ignatius of Antioch Church (approx. 0.7 miles away); Tarpon Springs Sponge Industry (approx. 0.7 miles away); Rose Cemetery (approx. 1.2 miles away); Wall Springs Park History (approx. 2.9 miles away); Site of the Blue Heron Hotel and Faith Mission (approx. 4 miles away); Gulf Shore Park (approx. 4.1 miles away); West Elfers Cemetery (approx. 4.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tarpon Springs.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 54 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 6, 2021, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.