For More Information on Tarpon Springs and neighboring areas visit:
Springs has long been known as the
"Sponge Capital of the
Yet, the city first developed in the 1880's under Hamilton Disston as a winter resort for wealthy Northerners.
WHERE TO START: Turn west off
(1) L. D. VINSON FUNERAL HOME (1911), 456 Tarpon Avenue, a two-story masonry structure once the home of Levin Dent Vinson, who opened the community's first general store in 1880. Across the street is the: (2) CRETEKOS HOUSE (1916),
The last three houses on the block on the
left are more typical of early non-Greek residences, including the second from
the end, the large: (3) DR. JAMES A. DOUGLAS HOUSE (1905), 406
Tarpon Avenue, a frame house with a fine gable roof.
CROSS GROSSE. The last house on the right was once the: (4) OLD
BAPTIST CHURCH (1905), At the end of the block on the left is the
former: (7) LEOUSIS SALOON (1905), TURN LEFT (south) on
CROSS RING, entering the commercial blocks. You may wish to PARK IF YOU WANT TO STROLL THE DOWNTOWN SHOPPING DISTRICT.
The last three stores on the left include the: (5) BOYER CHEVROLET SHOP (1910),
Across the street is the: (8) D. A. ALISSANDRATOS BUILDING (1909), 201 Tarpon Avenue, a one-story bank structure started as United Divers, a supply house for divers.
On your right is the: (10) OLD DRY GOODS STORE (1912), 163 Tarpon Avenue, a restored two-story masonry building with a rounded southeast corner. Drivers will find it difficult to see every structure without a second trip so I'll describe this downtown block by each side.
On your right next to the Dr Goods Store is the (11) W. H. GOURLEY HARDWARE (1905),
The first downtown building up after a disastrous fire in 1894 is the (14) G. W. FERNALD BUILDING (1894), 121 Tarpon Avenue, a general store designed by New Orleans architect Willis Castaing. Next door at
The right side of the block contains, after the railroad station, the (17)
Next door is the (21) ERNEST MERES BUILDING (1914), 100 Tarpon Avenue, built by Tampa architect M. Leo Elliott as the Hotel Meres and Royal Theater where Will Rogers once performed.
PASS HIBISCUS where on your right is the (22) A. L. ELLIS DRUG STORE (1913),
On your right is the massive facade of the: (24) ARCADE HOTEL (1924), 200 S. Pinellas Avenue, once part of a Spanish mission style Boom Time hotel, converted into an arcaded mall.
TURN RIGHT ON BOVER and then
Drivers should TURN RIGHT ON SPRING BAYOU. On your right is the unlikely named: (25) REVEREND MILES STANDISH HOUSE (1912), a double varanda facaded house of unsapped pine. Next door is the unusual: (26) THE CRESCENT PLACE (1886), 115 South Spring, a V-shaped Queen Anne mansion designed by hardware manufacturer Edward Newton Knapp to fit his curved lot. President of the Tarpon Springs Yacht Club, Knapp allowed no square rooms in the estate.
Next door is the: (28) JOHN K. CHENEY HOUSE (1890), 30 West Tarpon, home for the
TURN LEFT down
CONTINUE RIGHT ALONG SPRING BAYOU. The big mansion on your right is the: (31) GEORGE CLEMSON ESTATE 1902) 110 North Spring, the most magnificant shingle house on the West Coast, built by a
At 144 North Spring is the (33) MARSHALL ATWORTH HOUSE (1895), the timber baron who discovered the
On the curve is the Greek Revival house with Ionic columns known simple as the (35) TSAVARIS HOUSE (1889). At 166 North Spring is the (36) MARY BIGELOW HOUSE (1885), best known as the residence of the mother of the owner of the last house on the block, the (37) HAYES BIGELOW COTTAGE (1899), a T-plan bungalow moved here by famous nature photographer Hayes Bigelow whose pictures of the early Bayou are famous.
At the end of the block on the left is the
former: (7) LEOUSIS SALOON (1905),
TURN LEFT (south) on
RIGHT ON READ STREET. The last house on the right is the: (38) REV. HENRY
DE LAYAYETTE WEBSTER (1885) 101 Read Street, founder of the local
TURN RIGHT ON GRAND BOULEVARD and stop at the: (39) UNIVERSALIST CHURCH (1907), 57 Read Street, a one-story masonry edifice with a castellated tower, visited for its six wonderful landscape panels by George Inness Jr.
Before leaving the area, walk up nearby Parkin Court
to view the historic: (40) ANSON P. K. SAFFORD HOUSE (1883),
23 Parkin Court, home of the founder of Tarpon
Springs, an Arizona Territorial Governor and friend to land developer Hamilton Disston. The house was moved off the Bayou in 1981 and used
as a boardinghouse.
VISITING THE GREEK SPONGE DOCKS: One may reach the popular Greek shopping and restaurant district by the Anchote River by driving up Read and turning LEFT ON PINELLAS AVENUE (US19A) or by driving NORTH ON GRAND TO HOPE STREET, a backyard look at and area where Greek divers lived since 1905 when New York sponge exporter John Cocoris recruited divers from the Dodecanese Islands.
Along the route is the (41) NAT STONE APTTEN HOUSE (1884), two-story frame residence of an area pioneer farmer, and the (42) JOHN SAMARKOS HOUSE (1915), founder of the Samarkos Sponge Company.
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