State Theatre (St. Petersburg, Florida)
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Exterior view of venue (c.2008)
|Address||687 Central Ave N|
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-3625
|Location||Downtown St. Petersburg|
|Opened||May 1, 1950|
|Architect||Neel Reid, Archie Parrish|
The original building was constructed as Alexander National Bank in 1924. It was designed by Neel Reid, who also designed the Alexander Hotel in St. Petersburg. At that time, the 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) building made it one of the largest banks in St. Petersburg. The bank was shut down in 1926 with the death of Jacob Alexander.
During part of 1927, the building was occupied by the Gregory Electric Refrigeration Company but by 1928 sat vacant. The Fidelity Bank and Trust Company purchased the building in July 1929. The stock market crash in October of that same year was too much for the local economy and the Fidelity Bank, like most St. Petersburg banks, was forced to close. After Fidelity's liquidation in 1931, the building was used for a succession of small office tenants until 1949 when it was remodeled by Archie Parrish into the State Theatre.
The facade of the State Theatre is a symmetrical composition of three bays. The bays are defined by engaged pilasters expressed as a series of quoins above a projected water table base topped by an ionic capital with an attached swag. A projected cornice with a simple entablature tops the facade. Above this is a parapet divided into three corresponding bays again divided by projecting pilasters. Each of the three main bays contain a pair of ionic columns on a block base supporting a banded arch with an engaged keystone with an acanthus motif.
A stylized bas-relief eagle fills the space between the sides of the three arches and the engaged pilasters. The original fenestration was removed at the time of the 1949 remodeling when the openings at the side bays were filled, and a new contemporary projecting marquis was added at the central bay above the theater doors.
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