Will 'Pink Palace' be pink? ... and other downtown Bradenton questions

Tiger Bay Club talk stirs up bunch of questions about Bradenton

chawes@bradenton.comNovember 5, 2011 


Is the downtown library really moving to DeSoto Square mall?

Will the traffic lights on Manatee Avenue be better synchronized once road construction is finished in December?

Why isn’t there more classical music being highlighted at downtown events?

Will the so-called “Pink Palace” still be pink when it is converted into a Hampton Inn & Suites?

And what will it take to get people to stop using the phrase “Pink Palace” and say “Manatee River Hotel” instead?

Thursday’s Tiger Bay Club discussion about downtown revitalization was just chock-full of interesting questions and answers.

Here’s a rundown of the questions above:

n There are no plans to move the library to the mall, Vice Mayor Patrick Roff said. That was just an idea that someone “threw out” at a committee meeting.

n The unsynchronized lights on Manatee Avenue are actually by design, and a good thing for the city, Roff said, along with Dave Gustafson, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority.

“The problem with downtown is that people want to blow through and head out to the beach,” Gustafson said. “We need to remind people that they need to slow down, and that downtown is something they need to discover.” Roff added, “It’s going to take an extra two minutes to get through downtown, and that’s to our favor.”

n The music involved in Realize Bradenton’s ongoing efforts is based on surveys filled out by residents, said Realize Bradenton leader Johnette Isham. People who want more of an emphasis on classical music -- or any other form of music -- can start filling out the surveys, which are available at Realize Bradenton’s website.

n The so-called “Pink Palace” will no longer be pink when it is restored, City Planner Tim Polk told the crowd. The building’s historic color was “off-white,” so under the guidelines of historic preservation, that’s the color to which it will be returned.

Doing away with the building’s remaining hints of Pepto-Bismol pink might be the most effective way to end use of the term “Pink Palace” and start showing a little historical respect by using “Manatee River Hotel.” Until the restoration, which is likely to start next spring, city officials might just want to be patient and let the community enjoy the kitschy term while we still can!

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