For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Contact: Sarah Revell
Secretary Detzner Designates Deuces Live Main Street in St. Petersburg as Florida Main Street Program of the Month
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. –
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that Deuces Live Main Street in St. Petersburg, Florida has been designated the April 2018 Florida Main Street Community of the Month. Communities are selected based on their development achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program.
“Deuces Live is a community filled with a rich history and culture,” said Secretary Detzner. “They have taken admirable steps to preserve its charm and revitalize the area through initiatives like the I-275 Underpass Improvement Project that highlights the beauty of this historic community.”
I-275 Underpass Project Mural in Deuces Live, St. Petersburg, Florida
In the early 1960s, Deuces Live was a vibrant community with more than 100 businesses and was said to be one of the nation’s more prominent African American main streets. Locals boast about the area’s rich history, including landmarks like the Royal Theatre and Manhattan Casino. The Manhattan Casino played host to many big name musicians including Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles. Not long after Deuces Live hit its peak, the area quickly disintegrated. Integration, following the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, influenced residents to pursue new opportunities outside of the community and to close their businesses in Deuces Live.
Fifty years later, “Deuces Live Main Street is committed to bringing back a world class community with old world charm and ambiance,” said Executive Director Veatrice Farrell.
In 2017, the I-275 Underpass Improvement Project began. The project started with a landscaping and lighting initiative. The second phase of the underpass project included an art component, where the Deuces design committee worked in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and the St. Petersburg Public Arts Commission to create four murals. “The completed project is considered a love letter from the Deuces Live community,” said Farrell.
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About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 51 communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul.