I have often driven the brick streets of Allendale Terrace. The first things I notice when approaching this neighborhood are the majestic oak trees shading the area’s streets and homes. One can’t help but marvel at the stately old homes, many of which were built in the 1920s and 1930s. Due to my inborn interest in the history of St. Petersburg, I wondered about the history of Allendale Terrace. I’m really becoming friendly with the folks at our local library.
The history of Allendale Terrace is written largely in much of the life Cade B. Allen. It was Allen who conceived and developed Allendale. He was a former brick mason from New York who came to St. Petersburg in 1912, reportedly for the health benefits of its climate. Beginning in 1916, Allen made nine purchases of land around Crescent Lake. He established a truck garden (a garden where vegetables are grown for market) and dairy farm on this property. Some of his cattle actually grazed on what is now Miller Huggins Field. The second of these land purchases was from Perry Snell.
During this time he became friendly with Harold Smith, who was a member of the same church. In 1922 Allen sold this property and went into business with Smith, who was a real estate developer. St. Petersburg’s public records show the registration of a deed to Cade B. Allen and Harold Smith for 135 acres bought from the estate of W.L. Foster and his wife Amanda in December of 1922. The area had been known as “The Foster Grove” and Cade’s son Donald believed the price was $186,000.
Development was soon under way when the two men engaged George F. Young Civil & Landscape Engineers of St. Petersburg to survey and lay out a street and block plan for the land. The plat for Allendale Park, named after Mr. Allen, was recorded on April 4, 1923, and soon, with plan in hand, brick streets with granite curbs were constructed.
Harold Smith and Cade Allen shared a real estate office on Central Avenue, and then on 4th Street, until Allen opened his own real estate office at 3649 Haines Road. Around that time Mr. Allen also bought out Smith’s interests in the Allendale subdivision.
Between 1922 and 1954, Cade Allen and his sons built a total of 40 houses in Allendale, many with a distinct appearance that makes them easily recognizable today. All of these houses were built with hollow clay tile, and a stone veneer was then added to many of them. Some of the homes used local coquina rock, while others were faced with different types of stone, including granite, sandstone, and fieldstone from Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee, brought in by rail.
Over the years, Mr. Allen and his family (which included his wife, Eva and their eight children) actually lived in six different houses in Allendale. First was the original frame house that came with the purchase of the property. It had eight brick chimneys, which were torn down, and the brick was used as a veneer on the frame house and stuccoed. The house was located at 3650 Foster Hill Drive.
The second house, which was the first Allen built for the family, was located at 3405 9th St. N. (Euclid Blvd.). It was called the “Snow House” because it was so white. The family lived there for about a year, from 1924 to 1925.
The third Allen residence in Allendale Terrace is the gray granite house at 3600 9th St. N. (Euclid Blvd.), completed in 1925. The contemporary address for this beautiful home is now 3601 Foster Hill Drive N. The fourth house in Allendale Terrace occupied by the Allen family, built in 1928 and located at 944 39th Ave. N., was a large masonry, Spanishstyle home. The family lived here until 1947.
The fifth home was built in 1939 and was sold to a Mr. William Garrison. The Allens bought the house back in 1950. The address was 945 40th Avenue N.
The sixth and last house that Allen designed and built as Cade B. Allen & Sons was 1020 41st Ave. N. Built in 1954 of pink and white marble imported from Georgia, the home was occupied by Cade and Eva until Cade’s passing in 1959. Eva continued to live in the house until 1966; she died in 1971.
In total, 74 homes were built in Allendale Terrace prior to World War II. Between the War and 1960, there were an additional 186 homes built, with another 50 homes built since then.
One of the advantages of living in Allendale Terrace is the fact that it is built on a rise, often referred to as “The Ridge”, which puts the homes above the flood zone elevations, so residents are not required to purchase flood insurance. By comparison, other soughtafter historic neighborhoods closer to the water, such as Old Northeast and Snell Isle—while lovely—would be evacuated in a severe storm, and residents there must purchase flood insurance.
Known for its giant oak trees and large estate homes, Allendale Terrace is considered by many to be the finest area of St. Petersburg that is not located on the water. The area spans from 34th Avenue North to 42nd Avenue North, between 7th Street and 9th Street (MLK). It also includes the area between 34th Avenue North and 38th Avenue North, from 9th Street (MLK) to Haines Road.
The Allendale Terrace Neighborhood Association was formed in 1966, according to its former president, Hardy Bryan, to protect property development rights. As a result, Allendale is one of the few neighborhoods in St. Petersburg where you will not find any apartments or stores within its boundaries. Although the association is not currently active, the neighborhood does have a well-known Crime Watch program. If you get a chance, take a drive or a stroll through the area to view some of the impressive and distinctive Cade Allen homes. To connect with Allendale Terrace residents, log on to nextdoor.com.