60 Years of St. Petersburg
I am very thankful to have lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, for more than 60 years. While so much has changed over that time, the right things have stayed the same, and I love living here. The biggest change has been development. During the 1950s, the population of Pinellas County grew by 135 percent! Widespread air conditioning makes a difference. The population went on to double over the next 20 years, then stabilized – Pinellas, where St. Petersburg is located, is now the most densely populated county in the state!
This has ultimately become a good thing. The initial explosion was largely composed of retirees and Baby Boomers, so the development was mainly suburban; multifamily housing was concentrated outside of downtown. Since then, however, the population has gotten younger and more diverse, and the development more urban. St. Pete now has a vibrant downtown, and neighboring Clearwater and Dunedin have also urbanized on a smaller scale.
The whole process has been interesting. What was once a sleepy, quiet community has developed into a county that truly offers something for everyone: beaches, art, nature, active downtowns, and quiet residential areas.
My experience of St. Petersburg growing up was that its residents tended to be friendly and easygoing, and that is still the case. The new residents have made the city’s culture richer without changing its fundamental positive character.
I recommend St. Petersburg to everyone, and I enjoy knowing my children are getting to experience the joy of growing up here.