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Historical solarium heads to St. Petersburg High School | Community Spirit

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Historical solarium heads to St. Petersburg High School
Historical solarium heads to St. Petersburg High School

St. Petersburg, Florida -- A unique piece of St. Petersburg history – one of the few remaining 1920’s solariums – is being moved from the gardens of the Vinoy Hotel to St. Petersburg High School on Friday, April 19.

The school’s Construction Technologies class is going to restore the 1920’s version of a tanning bed to its original state. The History of St. Petersburg classes at St. Pete High will be raising the money to cover the cost of the materials. Once restored, the solarium, originally designed by Albert D. Brewer in 1922 and on loan to the Vinoy Hotel, will return to the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

After the essay “The Curative Value of Florida Sunshine” was printed in the International Journal of Surgery, a number of downtown hotels, including the Vinoy and Princess Martha, purchased these solariums. The article promoted heliotherapy – a 1920’s term for nude sunbathing. The Solaria remained popular throughout downtown into the 1940s.

Florida Shed Movers will remove the solarium from the Vinoy grounds via crane and flatbed truck at 1pm on Friday, April 19, to begin its journey up 5th Avenue North to the high school, 2501 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg.

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