Tarpon Springs in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Old Tarpon Springs High School
The Old Tarpon Springs High School is a masonry vernacular building, with limited Beaux Arts architectural details, that was designed in 1922 by St. Petersburg architect Emmitt Hull. When Tarpon Springs was incorporated in 1887, it had a population of about 300. By 1900, the population had doubled because of the city's attractiveness as a winter resort for wealthy northerners. With the arrival in 1905 of 500 Greeks who came to work in the sponge business, the population again doubled. As the industry prospered, it stimulated the general commercial and economic development of the community. Between 1910 and 1920, the population increased from 1,500 to 5,000. Tarpon Springs' population growth coincided with the optimism and prosperity generated by the Florida Land Boom. The nationwide emphasis on high school education led to a demand for a larger, modern building that would better meet the needs of the community. In 1922, the city decided to augment the existing 1912 public school building with a separate high school complete with gymnasium and auditorium facilities.
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Hull designed a two-story, T-shaped brick building with stone trim, which was deemed virtually fireproof. In accordance with standards for school buildings by William Alcott in his 1832 treatise, the plan was characterized by spacious classrooms, expansive windows, and ample office spaces. The doors to the new Tarpon Springs High School opened in 1925 for 260 students in grades 7-12. In 1962, the upper grades moved into a new high school on Gulf Road, and the building became a dedicated Junior High School. However, a new Middle School opened on North Florida Avenue in 1981-1982. The City purchased the building from the Pinellas County School Board in 1983, setting into motion plans to renovate the building to house City Hall offices in the former classrooms and a performing arts venue in the auditorium. The new City Hall was dedicated in the spring of 1987, and the building remains a prominent feature in the civic and cultural landscape of Tarpon Springs. The success of Hull's original design is evident from the fact the building survived both half a century of use as a public school facility and its conversion to use as the Tarpon Springs City Hall without significant alteration or structural modifications.
Erected 2011 by The City of Tarpon Springs, and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-1139.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Education. A significant historical year for this entry is 1925.
Location. 28° 9.045′ N, 82° 45.179′ W. Marker is in Tarpon Springs, Florida, in Pinellas County. Marker is on East Pine Street just west of North Grosse Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Building is now Tarpon Springs City Hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 324 East Pine Street, Tarpon Springs FL 34689, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Railway Express Company Building II (approx. 0.3 miles away); Railway Express Company Building 1 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Commercial Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Tarpon Springs War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Gourley Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Railroad Depot (approx. 0.3 miles away); Faklis Department Store & Shoe Repair and Faklis Orthopedic Services (approx. 0.3 miles away); Costas Tsourakis Building (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tarpon Springs.
Also see . . . Tarpon Springs High School History. (Submitted on June 20, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 20, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 102 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 20, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.