St. Pete Beach's Don Cesar, also known as the "Pink Palace," was developed by Thomas Rowe, designed by architect Henry Dupont and opened in 1928. The opulent, Jazz Age hotel attracted affluent and well-known guests, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Later, it housed Army airmen returning from World War II as they recovered. It then served as a Veterans Affairs facility and fell into disrepair until, in 1971, a group of people formed "Save the Don" to save and revitalize the hotel. In 1973, it reopened as a resort. Multiple renovations from 1985 to 2001 have updated and added onto the hotel, including a 4,000-square-foot spa, restaurant and another pool.
The Don CeSar was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and became a founding member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America in 1989. Photo courtesy of the Don CeSar.
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