For Immediate Release
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Contact: Mark Ard
PRESS RELEASE: Secretary Byrd Designates Palm Harbor Main Street as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month
Tallahassee, FL –
Today, Secretary of State Cord Byrd announced that Palm Harbor Main Street, in Palm Harbor, Pinellas County, has been designated the August 2023 Florida Main Street Program of the Month.
“I am delighted to designate Palm Harbor Main Street as the August 2023 Florida Main Street Program of the Month,” said Secretary Byrd. “Based on the activity that has occurred since their reorganization earlier this year, I have no doubt that the best is yet to come for Palm Harbor. We look forward to their continued success as they work with community partners to shape the downtown’s future.”
Photographs courtesy of Palm Harbor Main Street
Located in northern Pinellas County, Palm Harbor was originally established in 1888 as the community of Sutherland. The Sutherland Post Office opened in the same year, followed by a new train depot for the Orange Belt Railway in 1890. Sutherland boasted two hotels, the Gulf View Hotel and the San Marino Hotel, the latter built by Henry B. Plant. In 1902, the San Marino Hotel was converted into the new home for Southern College. The college operated in Palm Harbor until it was relocated to Lakeland in 1922, becoming Florida Southern College in 1935. Sutherland officially became Palm Harbor in 1925. Although it remained a small community throughout most of its history, Palm Harbor experienced a population boom in the late twentieth century, growing from 5,215 residents in 1980 to 50,256 residents in 1990.
Originally organized in 1999, Palm Harbor Main Street re-joined the Florida Main Street Program on March 15, 2023, with the goal of engaging the entire community in the revitalization of the historic downtown. The Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board, chaired by Commissioner Brian Scott, voted unanimously to renew the Main Street program. Palm Harbor has been known in years past for large street festivals like Parrothead, a Jimmy Buffet-themed concert event, as well as art shows, and St. Patrick’s Day and Oktoberfest street parties that attract tens of thousands of guests. Palm Harbor boasts miles of coastline, beautiful parks, and a section of the Pinellas Trail system, which was once the Orange Belt Railway. Palm Harbor is also home to Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club and hosts an annual stop on the PGA Tour.
“We have seen a resurgence in Palm Harbor of business owners, residents, schools, and nonprofits wanting to work together to make our downtown a vibrant area,” said Palm Harbor Main Street President Louise Goetz. “This offers great opportunities for the entire Palm Harbor community.”
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 56 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.