St. Pete community seeks historic designation - WFLA News Channel 8

St. Pete community seeks historic designation

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One of the houses of the Lang Bungalow Court One of the houses of the Lang Bungalow Court

A century-old community is inviting the public to come see its place in history to rally support to save it.

Cesar Morales never heard of Lang's Bungalow Court, until he and his wife answered an ad on Craigslist.

"This is kind of a gem of a place," he said.

Morales says he didn't know his rental home would come with such a caring and charming community.

"The way the court's designed, there are houses facing each other. So the alleys are in the back. So the interaction between neighbors is almost automatic," Morales explained.

Late St. Petersburg Mayor Al Lang used to live there. He purchased and plotted the land off 4th Avenue N a century ago and modeled it after the popular bungalow courts of Pasadena, California.

"We take a lot of pride in being part of this." Morales said.

The St. Petersburg Free Clinic recently bought two vacant houses on each side of Lang's Court, with plans to demolish them to build parking lots.  The most recent plans call for the demolition of one home and one detached garage.

Neighbors, concerned about the community's integrity and future blight, asked St. Petersburg Preservation for help.

"We really work hard to preserve a sense of place," said Interim Executive Director Monica Kile. "That's the feeling that you get when you come to a city, what makes it stand out, as opposed to a land of strip malls and Burger Kings, and Walmarts."

Kile says they're working with neighbors and the city to get Lang's Court designated as an historic landmark.

"When you landmark a district, it does make demolition of a property more difficult," she explained. "I think the more people see a neighborhood like this, and how close and active the residents are, the more they realize that's what contributes to the greatness of our city."

St. Petersburg Preservation is hosting a Porch Party on Lang's Bungalow Court Friday from 6-8 p.m. Admission include a tour of Al Lang's home, live music, and two drinks. Tickets are $5 for members and $15 for non-members.  Click here to pre-register.

St. Petersburg's Community Planning and Preservation Committee will discuss the historic designation proposal in April. If it passes, it will move to City Council for a vote.

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