Historic Markers Across Florida

The Don Ce Sar Hotel

Marker ID: FLHM 
Location: S.R. 699 near Passe-a-Grille Beach
County: Pinellas
Waymark: None


In the late 1920´s and the 1930´s, the Don Ce Sar Hotel was a renowned luxury resort which counted many notables among its guests. Thomas J. Rowe, a land developer, conceived of the establishment in the mid-20´s at the height of the land sales boom then attracting flocks of tourists and investors to Florida. The "Boom" ended before the Don Ce Sar was completed in 1928, but it remained open throughout the Depression of the 1930´s. During World War II, many Florida hotels suffering from the decline of tourism were converted to wartime uses. In 1942, the Don was purchased by the U.S. Government for use as a rest and rehabilitation center. From 1945 to 1967, the Don served as a federal office building. It was then vacated. Soon a committee of local citizens began to work for its preservation. In 1972, with their encouragement and community support, hotel developer William Bowman, Jr. purchased the property. He rehabilitated the Don, restoring it to its original function and elegance, and reopened it in 1973. Restoration was completed in 1975. In that year, the Don Ce Sar Hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The massive edifice of stuccoed Belgian concrete remains a symbol of the colorful, exciting "Boom" period of Florida´s history.

Sponsors: sponsored by William Bowman, Jr. in cooperation with Department of State


City: St. Petersburg, FL