CLEARWATER and CLEARWATER BEACH

CAPITAL OF PINELLAS COUNTY


For more information about Clearwater, visit: CLEARWATER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; THE CITY OF CLEARWATER; CLEARWATER REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE;; CLEARWATER BEACH;; and HERITAGE VILLAGE HISTORICAL PARK

CLEARWATER started as a Seminole War fort Fort Harrison, located on the bluffs south of downtown, but gradually developed into the agricultural port of the region by the 1850's. The arrival of Peter Demens Railroad in the Gilded Age and the establishment of a county seat assured Clearwater's place as the second largest town in crowded Pinellas County.



WHERE TO START: Head west from US19 toward downtown Clearwater. As you reach the downtown area, you'll realize that the area is on several important ridges providing early refuge from flooding. As you pass MYRTLE STREET, you will notice on your right (north):
(1) CLEVELAND STREET POST OFFICE (1932), 650 Cleveland Street, a fine example of Mediterranean Revival architecture by Theodore H. Skinner as a Works Project Administration site.

CROSS GARDEN STREET into the commercial district. 505 Cleveland Street was the (2) SITE OF THE FIRST ECKERD DRUG STORE, started in 1952 by Delaware's Jack Eckerd, later of candidate for Governor. Next door at 503 Cleveland Street is the (3) S. S. COACHMAN BUILDING (1920), a five story brick office edifice built by a noted citrus grower.
CROSS FORT HARRISON. The 400 block was the commercial core of town. At 412 Cleveland is the (4) WILLIS B. POWELL BUILDING (1913), home of Powells St. Petersburg Independent, the town's first (1907) newspaper. Across the street is the (5) THOMPSON & McKINNON BUILDING (1920), 411 Cleveland, started by broker Robert Thomspson and once home of the Clearwater Museum. At 405 Cleveland Street, is the (6) ROYALTY THEATER (1924), once the Capital Theater.

At 331 Cleveland Street, is the (7) CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH, a fine Italian Renaissance church with an octagonal floor plan.

If you go one block NORTH ON OSCEOLA, you notice at 128 Osceola, the (8) CLEARWATER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, a good place to get maps and booklets, as well as parking to walk over to the (9) CLEARWATER LIBRARY, behind which is E. HORACE COACHMAN PARK, named for the realtor who donated the hillside site. The Ferry to Caledesi Island is just down the park on the bay.

 

TURN RIGHT ON DREW  to reach US19A (Fort Harrison) and TURN RIGHT TO CROSS DOWNTOWN SOUTHWARD.

One block south of US60 is the massive (10) FORT HARRISON HOTEL (1926), 200 South Fort Harrison, a landmark, obtained by the Church of Scientology. Across the street is the (11) SITE OF THE GREY MOSS INN, a 1898 landmark torn down in recent years.

CONTINUE SOUTH ON FORT HARRISON past the (11) OLD PINELLAS COURTHOUSE (1917), 324 South Fort Harrison, a Neo-Classic structure, and (13) THE FIRST METHODIST CHURCH (1921), 602 South Fort Harrison, started in 1857 by Rev. Charles D. Nicholson. The 1995 meeting room is on the south side of the complex. At 610 South Fort Harrison is the (14) SOUTH WARD SCHOOL (1906), one of the oldest in Pinellas County.


TURN RIGHT ON DRUID ROAD, the entrance to HARBOR OAKS (1914-1937), the creation of Long Island New York realtors Dean and Ronald Alford, who purchased E. H. Coachman's ornage groves. At 432 Druid Road is the (15) N. B. BEECHER HOUSE (1926), one of just two Dutch Colonials in the district. Next door is the (16) E. C. PRICE HOUSE (1916), a good bungalow design.

On your left at 427 Druid Road is the (17) MAUDE DUNSIETH HOUSE (1937), a Colonial Revival by Walter Gause. Next door is the Mission style (18) H. A. McMULLEN HOUSE (1922), circuit judge son os Clearwater pioneer E. B. McMullen. At 421 Druid Road is the (19) DR J. F. BOWEN HOUSE (1918), a stucco-covered Prairie house by builder Tavor Bayly.
GO PAST OAK STREET. On your left is the (20) R. F. RANDOLF HOUSE (1918), 411 Druid Road, the other Dutch Colonial. Across the road is the (21) FRANK BOOTH HOUSE (1923), 410 Druid Road, an unusual square shaped Mediterranean Revival. The last house on the left is the (22) JOHN HOMERQUE HOUSE (1920), a fine Prairie School creation by developer Don Alvord.

CROSS BAY STRET into an older neighborhood. At 318 Druid is the (23) J. S. McANULTY HOUSE (1918), designed by Lester Avery, Dean Alvord's chief Architect. At 310 Druid is the best Tudor Revival home in area, the (24) FLORENCE GATES JUDD HOUSE (1920).

DRIVE PAST ORANGE. The iron balconies stand out at the (25) I. B. DIERKERSON HOUSE (1925), 308 Druid. At 302 Druid is a Prarie style brick (26) WILIAM F. REHBAUM HOUSE (1921), owned by the founder of the First National Bank of Clearwater. At 301 Druid Road is the (27) CHARLES H. EBBETS HOUSE (1924), winter home of the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The waterfront at Harbor Oaks contain many exclusive houses. Just past Wood Lane is the (28) JOHN KINGSBURG HOUSE (1916), a studdo home of the Vice President of the Peoples Bank. At 802 Druid Road is the massive (29) DEAN ALVORD ESTATE, developer of Harbor Oaks. Detroit industrialist Robert S. Brown and Kodak executive Edmund Lyons expanded the complex into the richest in Clearwater. Near the gate is the FORT HARRISON SITE PLAQUE, showing you are at the top of the highest bluff on the Florida Gulf Coast.

At 803 Druid Road is (30) CASA DE SAN ANTONIO (1915), the two-story Colonial Revival home of Sewell Ford, writer of the "Shorty McCade novels." At 902 Druid Road is a fine Mission home of (31) HARD JUDD (1927), New York City silver manufacturer.


TURN LEFT ON JASMINE WAY. On your immediate right is the (32) TAVOY BAYLY HOUSE (1914), President of the First National Bank of Clearwater. At 305 Jasmine is the (33) PEACE PRESBYTERIAN MANSE (1922), and next door is an unusual English cottage design, (34) the W. D. LANDERS HOUSE (1926).

CROSS BAY STREET. On your left is the 1935 Mediterranean Revival estate of Chiacgo doctor Thomas Ferman. At 409 Jasmine Way is the (35) W. F. REHNAUM HOUSE (1923), started by the founder of the West Coast Hardware. The Mediterranean Revival with the arcaded loggia porch at 410 Jasmine Way is the (36) G. A. EISHERLBERGER HOUSE (1926). At 419 Jasmine Way is the (37) REX BEACH HOUSE (1926), actually rented in the winters by the famous novelist.

TURN RIGHT ON BUSY HARRISON AND THEN RIGHT ON MAGNOLIA. At 429 and 427 Magnolia are the two Donal Alvord model house advertised in the 1920's. The first house is (38) LOS ROBLES (1925), designed by Tampan Franklin O. Adams; the second the (39) R.S. BROWN HOUSE, a wedding gift by Brown for daughter Mary Savage.
At 415 Maglonia is the (40) JAMES STUDEBAKER HOUSE (1925), one of the famous automobile family. The Colonial Revival at 403 Magnolia is the (41) WILLIAM HARRISON HOUSE (1918), home of the developer of radon for medical therapy.



CROSS BAY STREET. On your right at 322 Magnolia is the 1923 Colonial Revival of Cleveland developer Winthrop Ingersoll. Across the road is the (42) CHARLES SPENSE HOUSE (1920), an impressive Chateauesque house by Dean ALvord. A favorite is the French country design at 313 Magnolia, the (43) J. A. HAYDEN HOUSE (1925), a New York antique dealer who wanted Provence in Florida.

CROSS DRUID AND GO DOWN THE HILL TO THE CEMENT PIER. On your right at 208 Magnolia is the 1915 (44) DEAN ALVORD HOUSE, a sprawling Mediterranean with a terrace system dropping down to Clearwater Bay. Alvord, the developer, built few Mediterranean Revival houses at Harbor Oaks (unusual for the 1920's), but he lived in one. This estate, recently owned by race driver Nigel Mansell, has recently been broken up with race driver Hugh Fuller buying the 16,700 square foot mansion for $6.5 million. On the opposite side is the (45) W. T. HARRISON HOUSE (1926), with terraces designed by Don Alvord.


VISIT: HERITAGE VILLAGE - Largo's Great Architectural History of Pinellas County


If you continue southward on Druid into Bellaire, you will eventually arrive at BELLEVIEW RESORT, 25 Belleview Boulevard, Henry B. Plant's amazing 1897 clapboard hotel, the largest wooden hotel in the world. High on a bluff overlooking Clearwater Bay, the hotel is surrounding by golf course and a Victorian ambiance that is worth a visit or a luncheon stop.


CLEARWATER BEACH


CLEARWATER BEACH is best entered via the (1) MILLION DOLLAR CAUSEWAY (1927), which replaced the 1916 wooden Seminole Street Bridge. You may wish to turn north to ISLAND ESTATES, the site of (2) CLEARWATER MARINE SCIENCE CENTER & AQUARIUM, 249 Woodward Passage, a large rescue refuge for loggerhead turtles, and bottlenose dolphins.

Near the entrance to Clearwater Beach is the (3) CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, 40 Causeway, a good stop for brochures, information about island transportation, and discount coupons. Next door is the CLEARWATER BEACH LIBRARY with its fine Wickman Books of the Sea Special Collection. On the southside is (4) CLEARWATER MARINA, site of tour boats and charters.

Straight ahead is (5) CLEARWATER BEACH, voted the best urban beach on the West Coast. The 1922 City Pier has been replaced by Big Pier 60 and the 1917 Pavilion and Joyland Park was where the public swimming pool is located.


Turn north to visit DOWNTOWN CLEARWATER BEACH where the 1981 John Sumner designed Holiday Inn Surfside has sparked a building boom. Bob Heilman's Beachcomer (1948) is a restaurant landmark.
Old Clearwater Beach Hotel in 1920sOn Mandalay is the site of the (7) CLEARWATER BEACH HOTEL (1920), started by E. T. Roux and the oldest continuous resort. It was the first hotel to use female bellhops. By the watertower is small (8) CLEARWATER BEACH PARK, a delightful family spot by the (9) PALM PAVILION (1926), Jesse Smith's Art Deco hotel.

 

Across Bay Esplanade is the (10) CHAPEL BY THE SEA (1949), the beach community church, and (11) MANDALAY PARK (1922), by the old Yacht Club and an entrance to L. B. Skinner's Land Boom subdivision.
To see some of Clearwater Beach's older neighborhoods, drive along (12) EL DORADO off Alacia, where 1920's beach cottages stand alongside modern
homes.
At the Northern tip of Clearwater Beach is (14) CARIOLEL ESTATES, with the 1934 Cariolel Club designed by noted architect Paul Randolph. The map shows some of the older estates.
If you return to downtown Clearwater Beach and head southward, you will enter the busy, commercial hotel district, surrounding the (15) SOUTH BEACH PAVILION
.