A Letter from Manny Leto, Your New Executive Director

July 19, 2021

Dear friends, members, and supporters of Preserve the 'Burg,

For as long as I can remember, I've ventured from Tampa to explore the magical city just across the bay. It was just a short drive, but felt like a different world. Whether it was concerts at the historic State Theater (1924) or the iconic Detroit Hotel (1888) playing shuffleboard at the oldest courts in the nation (1927), or strolling historic Central Avenue in search of local shops and locally brewed beer, St. Petersburg has always possessed a certain powerful draw.

That draw is so powerful that I'm excited to do more than just enjoy the city as a visitor—I’m joining Preserve the Burg in the fight to help keep St. Pete special as your new Executive Director.

While historic architecture provides a dramatic and unique backdrop for this growing city, we know that the value of historic preservation extends beyond just the buildings. Indeed, old buildings breathe new life and vitality into every corner of the 'Burg. Additionally, our historic built environment provides opportunities for people who want to call a walkable 24-hour city home, while attracting tourists looking for an authentic piece of "real Florida."

As we enter this new chapter together, we'll re-engage with the community to continue our educational mission. St. Pete locals can look for expanded walking tours, thought-provoking advocacy lectures and panel discussions, warm and inviting porch parties, and other fun-yet-educational gatherings that highlight the value of St. Pete’s historic neighborhoods and iconic architecture.

Building a coalition of preservation advocates is essential for our success. We'll work closely with community partners, neighborhood associations, local nonprofits, and our elected leaders to build consensus and find solutions that can help guide the development of our growing city with our incredible history in mind.

When Preserve the ‘Burg members stay involved and use their voice to advocate for our city’s character, anything is possible. With your help, we can continue to do what this organization has done since its inception in 1977: keep St. Pete Special.


Manny Leto

Activist, preservationist, and PTB founding member Peter Belmont receives a key to the City of St. Petersburg.
August 19, 2022
Local preservation activist and Preserve the ‘Burg founding member Peter Belmont received a key to the City of St. Petersburg on Thursday, August 18, 2022 at St. Petersburg City Hall. The key to the City is the highest civilian honor and honors Belmont for his lifelong leadership and successful, decades-long resume of local historic and environmental preservation efforts.
A photo of Peter Belmont in action, leading a historic walking tour
August 18, 2022
Peter Belmont has dedicated more than 40 years of his life to advocating for the preservation of St. Petersburg’s historic and natural resources. A tireless activist, his efforts have left a lasting imprint on the city. In this blog, we’ll share more about the man who founded Preserve the ‘Burg. 
June 2, 2022
As Preservation Month 2022 comes to a close, we have a lot to look back on! Join us in reviewing all the events we hosted in recent weeks in honor of Preservation Month.