On May 11, 2016, St. Petersburg witnesses the old Pheil Hotel and Theater being broken into grits. Known as the Phiel Hotel at 424 Central Ave. One hundred years ago, Pheil began the construction endeavor on the hotel and theater (the year 1916). Famously known as the building of metallic mesh ) the giant cheese grater, the Pheil buildings will be missed. Where downtown enthusiasts could visit to enjoy a night out,is a memory. From its debut in 1924, the Pheil Hotel was a house of lobster, steak, and other ‘elegant’ entrées for a mere $0.90. However, many locals are claiming that parts of the “cheese-grater” are already coming up missing as others complain that the Pheil Hotel is the eyesore.
Abram C. Pheil – History in the Making
Abram C. Pheil (a native of Pennsylvania) settled in Citrus County, FL during the late 1800s and set out from St. Petersburg in 1894. According to his family, Mr. Pheil worked as a sawmill working bringing in $1 per day. While in the area, Pheil purchased lots, built homes, and then sold them for profit. Finally, Abram C. Pheil bought the sawmill and St. Petersburg Novelty Works in 1897 for less than $3,000. Conclusively, his sons the building in 1924 named the Pheil Hotel.
The Final Decision on the Pheil Hotel and Bank
By a commission’s decision (5 – 2 vote), the city has chosen to reject the old legendary location as a landmark that deserves to be preserved. In relation, the owners – the First States – are the winning suspects. According to sources, the group called St. Petersburg Preservation filed a lawsuit in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court in an attempt to ‘overturn’ the city decision to rid the 2.2 acre block – Central Avenue to First Avenue S and Fourth Street to Fifth Street – of the huge cheese grater buildings and announce them as historic for keeps and possible restoration. Ultimately, the saving efforts fell threw and the location of Central Avenue to First Avenue S and Fourth Street to Fifth Street are blocked off to be cleared of the rubble in the near future, beginning on October 12, 2016.