Detroit Building

When Paradise Was Almost Detroit

St. Pete’s founding fathers, Peter Demens and John Williams, once stood on the corner of Central and Second to flip a coin. The winner would get to name the city, the loser his new hotel. Peter won and named our sunny paradise after his hometown in Russia, while John named the Hotel Detroit after...you guessed it. Standing since 1886, the building is one of the city’s oldest remaining structures and today overlooks the heart of downtown St. Pete’s nightlife, the 200 block.

“A living memory, one look inside the original Detroit Building reveals a style from an earlier era.” - Amber Racer, St. Pete Local
Block Varies

Historic Arcades

The Ancestor of the Mall

Find hidden treasure in our historic arcades, a.k.a. covered markets popular in the 19th and 20th century, that gave shoppers an open-air experience before A/C was mainstream.


Haslam's Bookstore

Pages of the Past and Present

Once upon a time, John and Mary Haslam started selling books to the community to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Today, the family business has expanded to be the oldest & largest new and used bookstore in Florida! Their collection includes more than 300,000 books across an impressive 30,000 square feet. There’s no need to rush while searching for your next great read, so slow the pace for an hour or two at this unique shop and be sure to give Teacup, the store feline, a pat on the head before you go.

“A rainy Saturday morning in St. Petersburg without Haslam’s would be hard to imagine.” - The St. Petersburg Times
400 Block

The Life of Central Ave

Community Built on History

It takes a bench to build a community - Al at Green Bench Florist will be happy to tell the tale while arranging beautiful bouquets.

That’s the History for Now!

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