I live here and didn’t know that….a brief history of the original Granada Terrace

C. Perry Snell was a pharmacist in Kentucky who first visited St. Petersburg in 1899. He was inspired by his time here and decided to move permanently in 1904. Mr. Snell began his local career in 1906 when he, A.E. Hoxie and J.C. Hamlett bought the holdings of St. Petersburg Land and Improvement Company.  Snell and Hamlett until 1919 acquired and developed most of the land north of 5th Ave N and east of 4th St N known as the “northeast” or the “north shore”. 

Created by the same developer as the Old Northeast, Granada Terrace was platted in February 1924 by C. Perry Snell.  Mr. Snell’s philosophy for the design was the concept of the “new suburb beautiful”.  The original neighborhood is much smaller than what has been designated as the historic district. The original neighborhood design was bounded by 22nd Ave NE on the south, 1st St N on the west, the alley between 25 and 26 Avenues NE on the north, and the seawall on the east side of Coffee Pot Blvd. Below is the map of the neighborhood.  Prior to being developed into a residential neighborhood, the land was used by the St. Louis Browns baseball team as their spring training facility for the previous ten years.

GranadaTerrace

The original neighborhood consisted of 38 houses built in the Mediterranean Revival style before World War II and is to this day the most-dense concentration of this architecture in Pinellas County. Snell designed the neighborhood to be an exclusive homogenous enclave of custom homes in this architectural style according to the original deed restrictions.

Mediterranean Revival is characterized by the asymmetric imitation of the vernacular building tradition in the Mediterranean region with Spanish tile roofs, parapet caps, glazed tile decoration, wrought iron, stucco, and abundant accent windows, balconettes, loggias, porches, patios, and roof terraces with most homes having detached garages. The interiors have similar period details and architectural styles including textured plaster on the walls, open floor plans, light double-leaf terrace doors, beamed ceilings in the public rooms, hardwood or ceramic tile floors, circular staircases, and Mediterranean-style fireplaces. The neighborhood offers an encyclopedic array of motifs from the small, fortress-like house with a crenelated parapet at 2408 Brevard Road to the formal palazzo with a portico at 226 23rd Ave NE.  The most representative design by Harry Cunningham that characterizes the fanciful qualities of the Mediterranean Revival is the Raquet House located at 2300 Coffee Pot Blvd which incorporates a host of towers, gabled ells, walled terraces, and varied fenestrations. Smaller residences in the neighborhood designed by Cunningham include the Moraccan-inspired Dr. Harold Hart House at 115 23rd Ave NE which includes a decorative ogee dome. Other designs by Cunningham included the Goebels homes on Andalusia Way and 23rd Ave NE as well as the C. Buck Turner House at 2296 Coffee Pot Blvd.

The inflated housing market collapsed in the winter of 1926-27 similar to the modern housing market collapse of 2008-10. Building activity in this neighborhood ceased until just before World War II when in 1941 the remaining lots were gradually developed with one-story houses that conformed in setback and landscaping to preserve the historic pattern of the streetscapes.  The neighborhood landscaping includes a variety of subtropical plant materials including hibiscus, pittisporum, bouganvilea, palms, azaleas, oak trees, and fruit trees.  Many of the period homes have walled rear gardens and terraces. The original structures and park features as well as the brick streets have survived unaltered making Granada Terrace a complete, well-preserved neighborhood that exemplifies the prevailing development tastes of St. Petersburg in the 1920s housing boom.

 

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