The Pasadena Estates field office was in the building that is now the Alesia restaurant (as of 2022) on Central at 72nd St. But this was an auxiliary office to the main sales office that was located downtown. Here is a picture of the very first sales office which is located where the beautiful Rutland / Snell Arcade is now. So what are we looking at exactly?
This photo is historically significant in many ways. First off, the building typifies what St. Pete looked like before the Golden Age of the mid-1920’s. The boarding house and retail structure was of typical wood frame (and immense fire hazard if we’re being honest). It was typical of many structures built in St. Pete from the early 1900’s to around 1920 when the economy was based on agriculture.
Secondly, this building is the predecessor to the Snell Arcade. Wow! Take a look at the close-in pic, and you can read the streets on the light post, Central and Fourth. This really shows how St. Pete grew from humble beginnings to a wealthy small city fueled by the rise in tourism during the Golden Age. The change was fast and abrupt, much like the changes we are seeing today in St. Pete, exactly 100 years later.
And third, this is an uh-mazing shot of Pasadena Estates’ first office. I am guessing no one has seen this in decades, a bit of lost history that shows where it all began for our neighborhood, and in some ways, our city more broadly. From my research, I believe that this storefront was used as the sales office for just a year or so, and moved two or three times during the few years that Pasadena Estates was in existence.
So the pics… two lovely retouches of the original building and storefront, one a zoomed in a bit. Note the other real estate offices in the same building — This was the real start of the Florida land frenzy. And then a pic you may have seen a lot, but here is the beautiful and iconic Snell Arcade / Rutland Building that replaced the original structure just a few short years later.