A Letter from Manny Leto, Your New Executive Director

Date
July 19, 2021
Category

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.

Cheers,

Manny Leto

Headshot of Manny Leto
July 19, 2021
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.
Headshot of Robin Reed
February 24, 2021
An active preservationist for as long as she can remember, our President, Robin Reed, was drawn to the unique historical past St. Pete has to offer. Since moving to our city twenty years ago, Robin has served two terms on the St. Petersburg Preservation Commission, currently serves on the board of her neighborhood association, and was named as Preservationist of the Year in 2019. In addition to community-based preservation projects, Robin and her husband landmarked their own Mediterranean Revival Style home in 2010.
Giving Tuesday flyer
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