Completed in 1925, this building was home to the Peninsular Motor Company, which at that time was the forth-largest dealer for the Studebaker car company. When this building was complete, it was the largest automobile showroom in the region. One year later, this company went bankrupt and its three hundred employees were without a job. This sudden downtown was the result of the sudden end of a local real estate and investment boom that caused businesses like the Peninsular Motor Company, which began in 1921 with only four employees, to collapse if they had financed their rapid expansion with loans. While most businesses in St. Petersburg survived the sudden downturn that came when the real estate bubble collapsed, those that were in debt were in a precarious condition when banks that had lost money owing to the collapse attempted to call their debts.
Backstory and Context
The building is now home to the St. Petersburg Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Bob Johnstone, "Studebaker Buildings" (accessed 10/26/16) http://www.studebaker-info.org/Dealers/StPetersburgfl/stpetersburgfl.html