St. Petersburg City Hall
Designed by architect A. Lowther Forrest and completed in 1939, St. Petersburg's City Hall is one several public buildings in the city that was constructed with a total of ten million dollars the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPS was a New Deal program that facilitated numerous public works projects in order to provide jobs and stimulate economic recovery. The city grew rapidly in the following decade as many of the pilots, soldiers, and sailors who trained in St. Petersburg returned to the areas after World War II.
Backstory and Context
The history of St. Petersburg is significant to the history of America's 20th century, as it became a forerunner to the many quickly-developing towns of the West and Southwest that likewise attracted northern residents owing to its climate. Northerners rarely challenged segregation, however. Like most towns in the United States, St. Petersburg was and remains heavily segregated, a process historian Ray Arsenault describes in his book, St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream.