Built in 1888
Then: Detroit Hotel
Now: Club Detroit & Jannus Live
Did you know that the Detroit Hotel building is the oldest in St. Petersburg? Built by Russian artistocrat Peter Demens in 1888, the hotel is named after St. Petersburg’s co-founder General John Williams, who lost a coin-flip bet to Demens over what to name the city in the late 1800s.
The Queen Anne Victorian-style building designed by the town’s founders was originally just a 40-room wood frame structure, but the façade that is primarily in tact today shows the layers of brick that were used years later to extend the building to 200 rooms. In its heyday, Detroit Hotel attracted stars such as Babe Ruth, Eleanor Roosevelt and Will Rogers. But the building today is a far cry from what it once was.
Part of the building was turned to condos in 2000, and local businessman Jeff Knight, who took over and re-branded the beleaguered Jannus Landing in 2010, owns the rest of the block. Jannus Live has hosted some incredible acts on its stage since the 1980s, but the newly re-opened Club Detroit was once one of the hottest punk rock clubs in the southeast from 1981 to 1995. Acts such as Nirvana, Green Day and Stone Temple Pilots played there, says marketing director Dino Pinto.
Pinto says they decided to close Vintage Ultra Lounge earlier this year and bring back Club Detroit. The 500-capacity venue opened April 26 and will be a small concert venue that will also host comedians and have an open format for live DJs.
“We’re excited to revive the spirit of local bands,” he said.
In the details
The bricks used to construct the Detroit Hotel were installed in 1911 and 1913.
Despite being the city’s oldest building, the Detroit Hotel wasn’t designated a city landmark until 2010.