Coca-Cola has opened a new distribution center on Gandy Blvd. The company has a long history in St. Petersburg dating back in the 1940’s when they had their first bottling plant in the former Sanitary Public Market at 1825 4th St. N.
The Sanitary Public Market was designed by architect Albert Lee Hawes and constructed in 1926-27. The building, designed as a walk-through arcade, was constructed of structural clay tile and steel. It was built in a Mediterranean Revival style with twin Moorish towers and an arcaded central entrance. It was ornamented with cast stone trim, wooden roof brackets and a Cuban tile roof.
In 1940, during an economic downturn, the building was sold to the St. Petersburg Bottling Company and converted to a Coca-Cola bottling plant until 1967 when the Turner family purchased the building to create the Sunken Gardens World’s Largest Gift Shop. In 2002, the former Sanitary Public Market building was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and is now the home of Great Explorations Children’s Museum.