Then and Now — 1931 & 2021 — 536 Sixteenth Ave NE (North Shore)
From 1931: “Colonial house, built by owner for his own home, for sale at real sacrifice. In highly desired North Shore section, surrounded by beautiful homes. You have to go inside of this house and walk from room to room to thoroughly appreciate the amount of planning and the high quality of materials and workmanship which have gone into its construction. Beautiful furnishings include collection of rare Oriental rugs, grand piano, etc. Two large, tiled baths, large, tiled porch, extra lavatory downstairs and fireplace. Four big bedrooms, a large glassed-in sleeping porch, all having closets with outside ventilation. Lovely, complete kitchen with built-in features and breakfast nook. Don’t miss a thorough inspection of this immaculate home before buying. For sale by owner at an extremely low price.”
This house was built by Paul Renwick Boardman about 1925. Paul was born in Pittsburgh Pa. on January 28, 1882, and graduated from the public schools. After graduation Paul went to work for Andrew Carnegie’s Steel Company in that city. In 1903 he entered the real estate business in Pittsburgh with the firm Gault and Giffin. On April 10, 1906, Paul married Ms. Ada Lenora Kemble of Pittsburgh Pa. and the couple had two children, Paul Jr. (1906) and Helen (1910). In 1909 Paul became interested in Florida when the Gault & Giffin Co. company took over the holdings of a northern firm, located largely in Pinellas Park. Paul decided to come to St. Pete in 1910, and formed the real estate firm Boardman, Vogel and McCrea, the first of a series of companies he headed during following years, when he helped develop Shore Acres and North Shore sections.”
“In 1918 Boardman joined the WWI effort, being named to the US Shipping Board of Emergency Fleet Corp. He became manager of the steel town of Harriman, Pa., having charge of housing for 10,000 workmen, and also running the municipal government. He stayed with this post until after Armistice. Upon returning to St Pete he resumed the real estate business.”
“In the 1910 era of St. Pete operations he was one of the realty men who helped open the West Central sections. He often told stories of the sand streets of the day, and the ordinance of the staid village of St. Pete which set a speed limit of 10 miles per hour on those “dangerous monsters” known as automobiles. In fact, the policemen of that day once picked him up for speeding at 15 mph.”
“Paul was one of the business leaders who helped financially to bring the first major league team, the St. Louis Browns, here in 1914. The St. Petersburg Major League and Amusement Co. raised the cash. Boardman was Vice-President.”
“In 1922 he was named to the city council to fill the term of A.F. Thomasson, resigned. In 1923 he was elected to the job for two years.” He was on the council’s waterfront committee and had a lead roll in developing the central yacht basin, and the recreational pier. He was chairman of the committee that developed the Port of St. Pete in the boom era of the 1920s, at a time when the city had great plans to expand the water commerce.”
“On April 29, 1929, just two and a half weeks after their 23rd wedding anniversary, Ada passed away, she was 50 years old. Paul put the house up for sale the following year.”
“On August 19, 1936, Paul married Mrs. Mildred Potter Barnet, a widow born in Massachusetts.”
“In later years his company became Boardman Realty and Insurance Co. He helped organize the St. Pete Real estate Exchange and was a director and officer during its existence; was St. Pete Board of Trade head in 1916; President of the short-lived Pinellas County Board of Trade in 1918; was realtor President in 1946; was chairman of First Congregational Church board of trustees and active in Woodlawn community Club.”
“In 1940 his friends honored him with a dinner at the Detroit Hotel for his “practical idealism” in developing St. Pete. In 1951 he announced plans to retire but he remained semi-active in many matters even after that date.”
“Paul was county Chairman of the WWI War Savings Stamps drive; founder and life member of the St. Pete Yacht Club; charter member and first director of the St. Pete Motor Club and established the first Buick Agency in St. Pete. He received a citation from Gen. Jimmie Doolittle for his interest and participation on the first flight of Tony Jannus across Tampa Bay.”
Paul died on May 18, 1961, at the age of 78 and Mildred in May of 1973. All three are interred in the Boardman Plot at Royal Palm South Cemetery in St. Pete.
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