St. Petersburg, Florida
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St. Petersburg Business Signs
Prior to the creation of the city of St. Petersburg, FL, the Calusa peoples inhabited the St. Petersburg-Tampa area. The city itself was co-founded by John C. Williams and Peter Demens in 1888. Demens was responsible for the creation of a railroad terminus in the area. Demens was also responsible for the name of the city (he named it after Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he had spent much of his youth.) A local myth claims Williams and Demens flipped a coin to determine who would name the city. The Russian Saint Petersburg is named after the Christian apostle Peter and was built by Peter the Great.
According to a 2011 estimate by the US Census, modern day St. Petersburg, FL has a population of 249,688. This makes it the 4th most populous city in Florida. It is the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area (after Tampa of course), which has a total population of roughly 2.8 million residents. The Tampa Bay Area is the 18th largest metropolitan area in the United States.
St. Petersburg, FL’s largest employer is Raymond James, which is responsible for 3,300 jobs in the area. The investment services behemoth is also headquartered in the city. It has a net income of $113.5 million (as of 2015) and total client assets under management have been measured at approximately $502 billion.
St. Petersburg’s other major employers include All Children’s Hospital, Home Shopping Network, Bayfront Medical Center, Fidelity National Information Services, Bright House Networks, Jabil Circuit, St. Anthony’s Hospital, Transamerica Life Insurance Company, and Duke Energy.
St. Petersburg is bursting with museums. Great Explorations, which is a Children’s Museum, opened in 1986, contains exhibits such as Fit4AllkidsVille, Child-Sized Market, and Engine Company 15 (which promotes fire safety). Great Exploration contains other hands-on exhibits as well. St. Petersburg’s Museum of Fine Arts opened in 1965 and contains masterpieces from Monet, Cezanne, and Renoir.
St. Petersburg is also famous for running the first airline service in the country: the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line. A replica of the Benoist XIV, a small biplane flying boat used by the company, is featured at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.
The city also houses the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s works outside Europe in the Salvador Dali Museum, which opened in 1982. The museum’s collection “includes 96 oil paintings, over 100 watercolors and drawings, 1,300 graphics, photographs, sculptures, and objets d’art, and an extensive archival library. Paintings by Dali there include The Hallucinogenic Toreador and The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.”
St. Petersburg is known for its beaches. In fact, in 2005, the annual Dr. Beach rankings placed Fort De Soto as the number one beach in America. Boyd Hill Nature Park, located on Lake Maggiore, is another popular attraction, featuring a bird exhibit with bald eagles, owls, hawks, and other avian species.
The Tampa sports scene dominates St. Petersburg’s sports scene. However, many professional teams in the area represent ‘Tampa Bay’, which encapsulates both St. Petersburg and Tampa. St. Petersburg, specifically the Downtown Waterfront venue, does host two auto races, however: IndyCar’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and American Le Mans Series’ Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg.
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