Tarpon Springs Home Inspector

Bob Wisnewski

Certified Licensed Home Inspector
Your "Tarpon Springs" Home Inspector

 

 

 

Our Home Inspectors at On The Gulf Home Inspection Services are available 7 days a week servicing Tarpon SpringsDunedinClearwaterPalm Harbor, Tampa, New Port Richey, TrinitySafety Harbor and the surrounding Tampa Bay area to accommodate your schedule and all of your inspection needs.

Contact us at (727) 421-7650 or by email for any questions you may have regarding either a Home InspectionWind Mitigation Inspection, Pre-Sale Listing Inspection, Four Point Insurance InspectionRoof Certification Inspection or a Home Maintenance Inspection.

Click on the nose of "Snoopy" (below) our OfficeManager to contact us regarding any of our services or for a quote.

 

 

Tarpon Springs, Florida

History

The City of Tarpon Springs is located on the Anclote River less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico. Its name was inspired by a fish, the tarpon, which was abundant in the waters around the city during the late nineteenth century. Although the details of the naming are uncertain, several accounts attribute it to early settlers who arrived in the 1870s.

Tarpon Springs is the largest city in Pinellas County and full of history with sites like the Spring Bayou and the Sponge Docks. Having attained incorporation as a city in 1887, Tarpon Springs was initially a vacation resort on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico for the aristocrats.However, the discovery of sponge beds along the Gulf of Mexico and the Anclote River changed its destiny and by the close of the 19th century Tarpon Springs was on its way to being deemed the sponge capital of the world. With the sponge trade in the Aegean getting saturated, Greek divers from the Greek Dodecanese Islands arrived in America and Tarpon Springs happened to be the area they chose to settle in.Today the Sponge Exchange has been transformed into a shopping mall and the region abound with Mediterranean flavor in Greek restaurants, a salt water aquarium, a sponge museum, and fishing excursions. Visiting this area is tops on everyone's lists when they vacation locally or when residents have friends and family in town.  It's a fun day out in the Florida Sunshine, strolling up and down Dodecanese Avenue shopping and tasting some of the local Greek food. Tarpon Springs is a melting pot of cultures. The downtown area boasts of unique streetlights and antique shops, art galleries, wineries and curio stores. You can walk or ride the Trolley and check out Craig Park with its stately homes, the Unitarian Universalist Church with its religious paintings, Safford House representative of old Florida architecture, St. Michael's Shrine, and the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art.You can undertake hiking in the trails at Anderson Park or enjoy the beaches hugging the Gulf of Mexico. You can skate, bike, walk or run down the 34 miles long Fred E Marquis Pinellas Trail.

The region, with a series of bayous feeding into the Gulf of Mexico, first attracted attention as a place for winter homes about 1876. Some of the newly arrived visitors spotted tarpons jumping out of the waters and so named the location Tarpon Springs. The first Greek immigrants arrived to this city during the 1880s, when they were hired to work as divers in the growing sponge harvesting industry

Old city hall Tarpon Springs

In 1905, John Cocoris introduced the technique of sponge diving to Tarpon Springs. Cocoris recruited Greek sponge divers from the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, in particular Kalymnos, Symi and Halki leading, by the 1930s, to a very productive sponge industry in Tarpon Springs, generating millions of dollars a year. The 1953 film Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, depicting sponge diving, takes place and was filmed in Tarpon Springs.[5]

When a red tide algae bloom occurred in 1947, wiping out the sponge fields in that region of the Gulf of Mexico, most of the sponge boats and divers switched to fishing and shrimping for a livelihood. The city of Tarpon Springs then converted most of its sponge-related activities, especially the warehouses where they were sold, into tourist attractions. The Sponge Docks are now mostly shops, restaurants, and museums dedicated to the memory of Tarpon Springs' earlier industry. Most sponges sold on the docks are now imports: Relatively few sponges are harvested from the area, although attempts have been made in recent years to restart local sponge harvesting. Led by local businessman George Billiris, in the late 1980s the sponge industry made a comeback and in the fall of 2007, a record harvest of sponges by a single boat was made.

In 2007 and 2008, Tarpon Springs' Mayor, Beverley Billiris, established Sister City relationships with Kalymnos, Halki, Symi, and Cyprus, honoring the close historical link with these Greek islands.

Historic sites

Sponge diving mural at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Exchange

Natural sponges in Tarpon Springs

There are several locations in Tarpon Springs which have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Tourist Attractions

The shops along Dodecanese Avenue in the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks District of Tarpon Springs are still thriving as both a historic and a current tourist destination. The street winds its way from the bayou towards the Tarpon Springs Aquarium at the far end. Along the way it passes the marina and Sponge Boats docked along the north side of the street and the Historic Sponge Exchange on the south. There are many restaurants serving traditional Greek cuisine and fresh seafood that dot the street as well as quaint boutiques that sell everything from real sponges to imported goods. The street is narrow and reminiscent of a seaside village in Greece, with delivery trucks parked in the right of way and locals that greet each other in Greek and stop to chat without regard to the traffic.

The nearby beaches at several of the Pinellas County Parks are popular for swimming, windsurfing, picnics, boating, and other watersports. People also come to the beaches to watch the beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. Sandy barrier islands off shore shift position over time with the waves and storms. They are accessible by boat and are especially ideal for shell spotting and watching bottlenose dolphins at play. One permanent island, Anclote Key, is a State Park Preserve with a historic lighthouse, bird nesting colonies and pristine beaches.

Epiphany celebration

A double-headed eagle portrayed in a stained glass window inside Tarpon Springs' St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Tarpon Springs is known for elaborate religious ceremonies related to the Greek Orthodox Church such as Epiphany celebrated every January 6 with the blessing of the waters and the boats. Since the livelihood of the initial Greek immigrants hinged around the sea and their boats, their attachment to a religious service centered on requesting divine protection for what used to be a highly risky job can be easily explained.

The celebration attracts Greek Americans from across the country, and Tarpon Springs population is known to triple in size for that day. The Metropolitan of Atlanta usually presides over the blessings, sometimes joined by the Archbishop of America. The blessings conclude with the ceremonial throwing of a wooden cross into Tarpon Springs Spring Bayou, and boys ages 16–18 dive in to retrieve it: whoever recovers the cross is said to be blessed for a full year. Following the blessings, the celebration moves to the Sponge Docks where food and music are made part of the festivities.

On January 6, 2006, the 100th anniversary celebration of the Epiphany services in Tarpon Springs was the occasion for a visit by his all-holiness, Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who is considered "first among equals" of all hierarchs of the Orthodox Church. He presided over the Epiphany services in one of the few visits to America by an Ecumenical Patriarch.

Demographics

American and Greek flags flying in Tarpon Springs

As of the census of 2000, there were 21,003 people, 9,067 households, and 5,947 families residing in the city of Tarpon Springs. The population density was 2,297.1 per square mile. There were 10,759 housing units at an average density of 1,176.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city of Tarpon Springs was 90.07% White, 6.15% African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.33% of the population. 11.8% of the total population reported their ancestry as Greek, which is included in the 90.07% White statistic. 8.87% reported speaking Greek at home, while 3.46% speak Spanish, and 1.09% French.

There were 9,067 households in Tarpon Springs out of which 22.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size of Tarpon Springs was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.78.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 24.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

The median income for a household in Tarpon Springs was $38,251, and the median income for a family was $46,316. Males had a median income of $36,356 versus $25,252 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,504. About 7.7% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.1% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

 

 

Colleges/Universities in Tarpon Springs:

  • Pasco-Hernando Community College  (Full-time enrollment: 4,159;Location: 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey ; Public; Website:www.phcc.edu)
  • Benes International School of Beauty  (FT enrollment: 272; Location: 7027 US Hwy 19, New Port Richey Private, for-profit; Website: www.isbschool.com)

Other colleges/universities with over 2000 students near Tarpon Springs:

  • University of South Florida-Main Campus (about 24 miles; Tampa, FLFull-time enrollment: 27,329)
  • St Petersburg College (about 25 miles; Clearwater, FLFT enrollment:9,555)
  • The University of Tampa (about 27 miles; Tampa, FLFT enrollment:5,429)
  • Hillsborough Community College (about 27 miles; Tampa, FLFT enrollment: 11,277)
  • Saint Leo University (about 29 miles; Saint Leo, FLFT enrollment:8,783)
  • Everest University-Brandon (about 30 miles; Tampa, FLFT enrollment:2,266)
  • University of South Florida-St. Petersburg Campus (about 35 miles; St. Petersburg, FLFT enrollment: 2,227)

Public high schools in Tarpon Springs:

Public elementary/middle schools in Tarpon Springs:

Private elementary/middle schools in Tarpon Springs :

  • FIRST CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Students: 239; Location: 2795 KEYSTONE RD, Tarpon Springs Grades: PK - 7)
  • NEW COVENANT CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (Students: 44; Location: PO BOX 935, Tarpon Springs Grades: KG - 8)Banks with branches in Tarpon Springs:
  • Bank of America, National Association: Tarpon Springs Branch at 116 South Pinellas Avenue, branch established on 01/29/1934; Tarpon Mall Branch at 910 East Tarpon Avenue, branch established on 12/31/1965. Info updated 11/18/2009: Bank assets: $1,489,198.0 mil, Deposits: $1,021,724.0 mil, headquarters in Charlotte, NC, positive income, 5991 total offices, Holding Company: Bank Of America Corporation
  • SunTrust Bank: Tarpon Springs Branch at 203 East Tarpon Avenue, branch established on 09/25/1984. Info updated 11/24/2010: Bank assets: $164,556.8 mil, Deposits: $123,435.4 mil, headquarters in Atlanta, GA, negative income in the last year, Commercial Lending Specialization, 1732 total offices, Holding Company: Suntrust Banks, Inc.
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association: Tarpon Springs at 40916 U.S. Hwy 19 N, branch established on 12/01/2005. Info updated 09/23/2010: Bank assets: $1,642,691.0 mil, Deposits: $984,210.0 mil, headquarters in Columbus, OH, positive income, International Specialization, 5345 total offices, Holding Company: Jpmorgan Chase & Co.
  • Whitney National Bank: Tarpon Springs Branch at 503 South Tarpon Springs Avenue, branch established on 11/10/2000. Info updated 12/22/2008: Bank assets: $11,499.5 mil, Deposits: $8,867.1 mil, headquarters in New Orleans, LA, negative income in the last year, Commercial Lending Specialization, 171 total offices, Holding Company: Whitney Holding Corporation
  • Florida Capital Bank, National Association: Tarpon Springs Branch at 710 East Tarpon Avenue, branch established on 10/05/2007. Info updated 11/20/2007: Bank assets: $1,048.4 mil, Deposits: $93.9 mil, headquarters in Jacksonville, FL, negative income in the last year, Commercial Lending Specialization, 15 total offices, Holding Company: Florida Capital Group, Inc.
  • Regions Bank: Tarpon Springs Branch at 40786 Us Hwy 19 N, branch established on 08/01/1934. Info updated 02/09/2009: Bank assets: $129,067.7 mil, Deposits: $99,803.3 mil, headquarters in Birmingham, AL, negative income in the last year, Commercial Lending Specialization, 1784 total offices, Holding Company: Regions Financial Corporation
  • Wells Fargo Bank, National Association: Tarpon Springs Branch at 101 Federal Place, branch established on 10/18/1957. Info updated 12/01/2010: Bank assets: $1,070,489.0 mil, Deposits: $811,027.0 mil, headquarters in Sioux Falls, SD, positive income, 6537 total offices, Holding Company: Wells Fargo & Company

Fire-safe hotels and motels in Tarpon Springs, Florida:

Strongest AM radio stations in Tarpon Springs

WGUL (860 AM; 5 kW Dunedin, FL; Owner: WGUL-FM, INC.)

  • WFLA (970 AM; 25 kW; TAMPA, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.)
  • WMGG (820 AM; 50 kW; LARGO, FL; Owner: MEGA COMMUNICATIONS OF ST. PETERSBURG LICENSEE)
  • WHNZ (1250 AM; 25 kW; TAMPA, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.)
  • WLVU (1470 AM; 5 kW; DUNEDIN, FL; Owner: GENESIS COMMUNICATIONS OF TAMPA BAY, INC.)
  • WTIS (1110 AM; daytime; 10 kW; TAMPA, FL; Owner: WTIS-AM, INC.)
  • WQYK (1010 AM; 50 kW; SEFFNER, FL; Owner: INFINITY BROADCASTING CORPORATION OF TAMPA)
  • WDAE (620 AM; 5 kW; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: CLEAR CHANNEL BROADCASTING LICENSES, INC.)
  • WTMP (1150 AM; 10 kW; EGYPT LAKE, FL; Owner: TAMPABROADCASTING, LTD.)
  • WWMI (1380 AM; 5 kW; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: ABC, INC.)
  • WTBN (570 AM; 5 kW; PINELLAS PARK, FL; Owner: COMMON GROUND BROADCASTING, INC.)
  • WWBA (1040 AM; 4 kW; PINELLAS PARK, FL; Owner: GENESIS COMMUNICATIONS OF TAMPA BAY, INC.)
  • WFLF (540 AM; 50 kW; PINE HILLS, FL; Owner: CLEAR CHANNEL BROADCASTING LICENSES, INC.)

Strongest FM radio stations in Tarpon Springs

WBBY (107.3 FM St Petersburg, FL; Owner: COX RADIO, INC.)

  • WXTB (97.9 FM; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.)
  • WRBQ-FM (104.7 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: INFINITY RADIO OPERATIONS INC.)
  • WDUV (105.5 FM; NEW PORT RICHEY, FL; Owner: CXR HOLDINGS, INC.)
  • WSSR (95.7 FM; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: CLEAR CHANNEL BROADCASTING LICENSES, INC.)
  • WSUN-FM (97.1 FM; HOLIDAY, FL; Owner: COX RADIO, INC)
  • WPOI (101.5 FM; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: CXR HOLDINGS, INC.)
  • WWRM (94.9 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: COX RADIO, INC.)
  • WFLZ-FM (93.3 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.)
  • WMTX (100.7 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.)
  • WQYK-FM (99.5 FM; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: INFINITY BROADCASTING CORPORATION OF FLORIDA)
  • WTBT (103.5 FM; BRADENTON, FL; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.)
  • WYUU (92.5 FM; SAFETY HARBOR, FL; Owner: INFINITY RADIO OPERATIONS INC.)
  • WUSF (89.7 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: UNIVERSITY OF S. FLORIDA)
  • WBVM (90.5 FM; TAMPA, FL; Owner: BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE/ST. PETERSBURG)
  • WYFE (88.9 FM; TARPON SPRINGS, FL; Owner: BIBLE BROADCASTING NETWORK, INC.)
  • WSJT (94.1 FM; LAKELAND, FL; Owner: INFINITY RADIO OPERATIONS INC.)
  • WLLD (98.7 FM; HOLMES BEACH, FL; Owner: INFINITY RADIO OPERATIONS INC.)
  • WHPT (102.5 FM; SARASOTA, FL; Owner: CXR HOLDINGS, INC.)
  • WLPJ (91.5 FM; NEW PORT RICHEY, FL; Owner: RADIO TRAINING NETWORK)

TV broadcast stations around Tarpon Springs

  • W36CO (Channel 36 St Petersburg, FL; Owner: TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK)
  • W48AY (Channel 48; OLDSMAR, FL; Owner: AMKA BROADCAST NETWORK, INC.)
  • WTSP (Channel 10; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: PACIFIC AND SOUTHERN COMPANY, INC.)
  • W33CC (Channel 33; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: VENTANA TELEVISION, INC.)
  • WEDU (Channel 3; TAMPA, FL; Owner: FLORIDA WEST COAST PUBLIC BROADCASTING, INC.)
  • WARP-CA (Channel 20; TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: SUNSHINE BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC.)
  • WXAX-LP (Channel 26; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: TIGER EYE BROADCASTING CORP.)
  • WFLA-TV (Channel 8; TAMPA, FL; Owner: MEDIA GENERAL COMMUNICATIONS, INC.)
  • WFTS-TV (Channel 28; TAMPA, FL; Owner: TAMPA BAY TELEVISION, INC.)
  • WTOG (Channel 44; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: VIACOM INTERNATIONAL INC.)
  • WXPX (Channel 66; BRADENTON, FL; Owner: PAXSON COMMUNICATION LICENSE COMPANY, LLC)
  • WUSF-TV (Channel 16; TAMPA, FL; Owner: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA)
  • WRMD-LP (Channel 57; TAMPA, FL; Owner: ZGS TELEVISION OF TAMPA, INC.)
  • W61AI (Channel 61; ROCK HARBOR, FL; Owner: MAKO COMMUNICATIONS, LLC)
  • WTTA (Channel 38; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: BAY TELEVISION, INC.)
  • WFTT (Channel 50; TAMPA, FL; Owner: TELEFUTURA TAMPA LLC)
  • WTVT (Channel 13; TAMPA, FL; Owner: TVT LICENSE, INC.)
  • WCLF (Channel 22; CLEARWATER, FL; Owner: CHRISTIAN TELEVISION CORPORATION, INC.)
  • WTAM-LP (Channel 6; TAMPA, FL; Owner: U.S. INTERACTIVE, L.L.C.)
  • WVEA-LP (Channel 61; TAMPA, FL; Owner: ENTRAVISION HOLDINGS, LLC)
  • WMOR-LP (Channel 63; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: WMOR-TV COMPANY)
  • WMOR-TV (Channel 32; LAKELAND, FL; Owner: WMOR-TV COMPANY)
  • WSPF-CA (Channel 35; ST. PETERSBURG, FL; Owner: CITY OF ST. PETERSBURG)
  • W56EB (Channel 56; TAMPA, FL; Owner: TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK)
  • WSVT-LP (Channel 18; BRADENTON, FL; Owner: WORD OF GOD FELLOWSHIP, INC.)