CLEARWATER and CLEARWATER BEACH
CAPITAL OF PINELLAS COUNTY
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
(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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 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
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.
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
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.