Times square properties is a collection of old homes, boarding houses and hotels brought back to life by a woman named  Maryann Lynch.

Make no mistake these historic structures, most of which were constructed the early 20th century, would probably have met the wrecking ball if not for her efforts.

There is something to be said for modernization but there is also something to be said about a community that has preserved a piece of living history and also provided an affordable place to live.  Her buildings are now intermixed with new condominiums and business spaces in an area of downtown St Pete known as University Park.

Take some time to learn more about the neighborhood she created –  “Times Square”  by exploring this site.

Discover the people who lived in these building before us, stories about messenger boys saving their hard earned money to buy war bonds, weddings, anniversaries, babies being born, survivors of tragic events that would change the course of history.

The Game Board

According to Wikipedia – “The Monopoly game board consists of forty spaces containing twenty-eight properties (twenty-two colored streets, four railroads and two utilities), three Chance spaces, three Community Chest spaces, a Luxury Tax space, an Income Tax space, and the four corner squares: GO, (In) Jail/Just Visiting, Free Parking, and Go to Jail.”

Maryann Lynch has created a monopoly of sorts in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. Purchasing properties, making improvements, trying to make it around to GO to get more money from the bank to buy even more properties. It is only fitting that she chose to name her acquisitions after the board game, even putting pieces of the game into the buildings themselves.

To the right is a partial listing of her downtown properties, only some of which I have completed the postings with historical background.

A special thanks to the Google newspaper archive search service provided by The Saint Petersburg Times webportal tampabay.com.

727 10th Street North – Illinois

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1910.

This property showed up quite a bit in the Google newspaper archives and here are just a few of the stories and some spin offs from some of the former residents:

It was a popular meeting place for the “Clique” club in the 1930’s.

The Odom family of Odom’s shoe repair made this their home for a while,

in 1931 their daughter Kathryn did well in the 50 yrd dash at an Elk’s picnic,

Sam Odom celebrated his 4th birthday with much success and fanfare in 1929,

Chris Odom became a St. Petersburg police officer in 1937,

His brother Earl had some interesting ideas on womens shoes in the 1950’s.

Another resident Mrs. Mae Adams had a fantastic sounding peanut brittle recipe printed in The Evening Independent in 1934 !

1427 4th Street South – Vermont

The property asppraisers office shows a construction date of 1958.

The only article found in the Google newspaper archive was one where two youths were caught in an attempted robbery of the adult bookstore in 1986.

621 Mound Park Way – Kentucky

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1921.

The Google newspaper archive yeilded very little but here one about “boy” burgulars  from 1922 –

409 5th Street south – Oriental

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1925.

The Google newspaper archive had the following articles about the properties past:

An opportunity to rent in 1921.

A Room and Board ad from 1923, $15.00 a week!

A Civic Association sewing party in 1949.

In 1931 Oscar Danielson had a close call with a Trolley.

1003, 1005 Arlington – Pacific

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1940.

For the first time I was able to find some building permit info on a property in the Google newspaper archive:

The first reference was from 14 June 1940,

The second from June 23, 1940 a more in-depth article,

The builder, who was the first resident, George Rouadi celebrated the birth of a baby girlin 1945,

And then their 16th Wedding Anniversary in 1952,

341 7th Street South – Tennesee

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1920.

The Google newspaper archive showed some articles from before the current buildings construction date and I thought I would include those along with the more current ones for historical reference:

I found articles from 1915 and 1917 respectively,

In 1924 an Illinois drummer took up residence while working for the Devry company as a sales rep,

In 1944 Cpl. and Mrs. Clarence Wood had a baby girl, seven pounds two onces!

509 Delmar Terrace – Atlantic

The property appraisers office shows a contstruction date of 1920.

A google archive search showed some interesting results:

In 1942 the draft board called James Edward McGarrah for duty to fight in WWII, he was a resident at the house.

A 1939 sorority social would be held here for the Rho Delta.

1955 rental ad.

Eleanor Van Arsdale, Class secretary, 1955 Emerson College had links here.

Newlyweds Miss Marjorie Duke Applebee and Alexander Lang Peterson were to make their first home here in 1939.

610 4th Avenue South – Virginia

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1911.

The first mention of the property I could find in the Google newspaper archive was an ad for renting the apartments in 1922,

Another rental ad from 1931 showed the building had the name “Spears apartments“,

In a rare historical find one of the residents Ambrose Hamm was a survivor of the sinking of the Maine.

Ambrose Hamm survivor of the sinking of the Maine resident 610 4th Ave South.

And finally a personal mention for a B. Altman executive,

730 3rd Avenue South – St. James

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1959.

454 4th Avenue South – Chance

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1925.

The google newspaper archive produced no results.

728 3rd Avenue South – States

These are the apartments I currently reside in, they are now named after the States monopoly square. Researching the St. Petersburg City directories in the Main Library I found that in the past they were known as the “LaClair” or the “Le Claire” apartments,maybe even some other variants in different years , google newspaper archives all show“LaClaire”. Even prior to that they were called the “Hickok Apartments” according to the city directory of 1940.

The property appraisers office shows this building with a 1920 construuction date.

Google newspaper archive found that some things never change when a beer party in 1956 was halted by police at my current residence!

La Claire ad from 1955-

50th Wedding Anniversary announcment from 1954-

418 5th Street South – Pennsylvania

The property appraisers office shows a 1912 construction date for this old house.

Being an older property I found some interesting stories in the Google newspaper archive-

In 1918 a 12 year old boy “Little Charley Ketcham” made the news buying War Stamps.

In 1925 the building was selling for $32,000 , in one of St. Pete early building booms.

In 1939 a member of the “Detroit Society” made the house home!

340 7th Street South – Baltic

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1920 for this building.

Researching the city directories in the main library revealed that this property was once known as the “Ariel apartments”.

The apartments were advertised to have large porches and soft water, the large porches remain but the soft water might be in question.

Another ad, the earliest I found from 1922 said everything was new and clean.

322 4th Street South – Marvin Gardens

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1916.

Researching the Google newspaper archive showed the following tibits on the property:

A 1922 advertisement showing the property for sale to the tune of $50,000.00 .

Mrs. Botts operated a dressmaking shop there in 1927.

Louis Goldbach a retire city worker lived here,

John ashton a 90 year old newlywed lived here!

A Chicago newspaper editor visited his father in 1941,

201 5th Street South – Mediterreanean

This particular building is currently called “Mediterranean”, it was formerly known as the“Baer Chee Apartments” then the “Gardener apartments” according to the city directories from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

** Update **  Diligent scouring of the google newspaper archive revealed this properties true former identity, see bottom of post for more info !!

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1915. One of the oldest dates in the group.

Google newspaper archives revealed one article mentioning a resident Earnest Klein, who was the treasurer of the Shell Club in 1957.

The google newspaper archive came up with no hits on the previous apartment names which is knd of odd considering the age of the complex.

The adjacent lot has some significance, even though it is empty now 227 5th street south once was where the “Elston  Apartments” was located. It was the second apt building in St. Pete the first being the “Coburn Apartments” on 4th street north.

My research on the google newspaper archives yielded not only print info but my first photo of a property from the past!

Street numbering changes must have affected this property which was formerly known as the “Winchell”. 500 2nd Avenue south was its previous address that thwarted all my past searches. But low and behold I found this article and photo from 1951-

That info yielded more from google that in 1942 a contestant for the “Saint Petersburg most photogenic girl” contest  a one miss Christine Williams was once a resident!

Further research showed she did not win the contest but was bettered by this womanElizabeth Colson. You can see the winning photo here!

344 4th Street South – Ventnor

I have never lived in this particular apartment building but my sister did when she was in grad school at USF working her way up in the educational system. The building has more than one number and is currently the Ventnor but it was formerly called the “Monte Leone Apartments”.  A search of the citry directory showed the name to be the“Ventnor in 1965 so that name has been attached for a while.

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1920.

The first reference I can find in the newspaper archive is an ad from 1926 describing it as having plenty of closet space. There was another from 1929 describing it as “Modern,excellently finished…”.

Newspaper ad from 1955 showing the name as Ventnor-

305 5th Street South – Park Place.

This property was my second Times Square home known as Park Place. One that I lived in for 2 yrs, it was originally known as the “Emerson Apts”. The property appraisers office shows the structure as having a 1910 construction date, the earliest mention I could find searching the Google newspaper archive was a reference to the opening dated Jan 13, 1917 in the Evening Independent.

The article shows an address of 500 instead of 305, I think the numbering system changed somewhere along the way.

Some of the previous owners revealed in the archive searches were

By the 1930’s the Emerson Apartments were listed in newspaper advertisements as one of the many places to live in the “Sunshine City” !

Emerson Apartments advertisement in the St. Pete Times 1930.Emerson Apartments opening announced Jan 13, 1917.

Emerson Apartments opening announced Jan 13, 1917.

In 1978 the building was part of a housing authority investigation regarding rental rates.

Even MaryAnn Lynch had her share of trouble with the property when she undertook the massive renovation, facing obstacles on all fronts she persevered and produced a historic landmark recognized at both the 2006 Mayors Historic Preservation Summit and with an Honerable Mention at the Saint Petersburg Preservation Awards in 2008 !

Here is a link to a pdf from the the city on the sites designation as a historical landmark.

436 4th Avenue south – Boardwalk

This is the first property of Times Square that I lived in when I arrived in downtown St. Pete. The property is currently known as Boardwalk, the most expensive stay in the board game Monopoly but truly affordable in real life. It was originally known as the“Carolyn Apartments“.

The property appraisers office shows a build date of 1920 and the sidewalk outside the buildings front door step is marked with a date close to that.

Researching the property in the Google newsparer archive accessible through the tampabay.com site yeilded very little about the buildings early history with the exception of a tea party in 1941 held to wish farewell to a group of what is commonly called now “snowbirds”. A 1924 reference, the earliest, greeting a Mrs. Clara Rich Carter of Chicago to her new home in the city.  And finally an accident report for aone J. Butler who damaged his roadster, he was listed as a resident of the Apartments.

Roadster Accident

The property was also part of a housing authority investigation along with the Emerson apts in the 1970’s.

An ad for the Carolyn apartments in 1922-

468 4th Avenue south – Chance

The property appraisers office shows a construction date of 1925.

The google newspaper archive produced some info on some early residents of the house:

1929 Mr and Mrs James A. Flood. 

Marie Kaser in 1957.

And in 1930 the bride of “Mr. Wedding” was also a resident!