Gulfport is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States, bordering St. Petersburg and Boca Ciega Bay. The population of Gulfport was 12,029 at the 2010 census. Gulfport is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, the 19th largest MSA in the country.
|City of Gulfport|
|Incorporated||October 12, 1910|
|• Mayor||Samuel Henderson|
|• Total||3.88 sq mi (10.06 km2)|
|• Land||2.77 sq mi (7.17 km2)|
|• Water||1.11 sq mi (2.89 km2)|
|Elevation||16 ft (5 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||4,476.90/sq mi (1,728.84/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
33707, 33711, 33737
|GNIS feature ID||0283501|
"Old Florida" is a phrase often evoked in describing Gulfport's waterfront district, with its mix of small-scale cottages and small independent shops, restaurants and other businesses, situated among mature oak trees and brick-paved streets. Many of Gulfport's upscale modern homes are located within gated communities of the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club, which has hosted celebrities such as Babe Ruth, Arnold Palmer, and Michael Jordan on its golf course.
Gulfport has been known by several names since its founding. The town was originally named Disston City in 1884 when Hamilton Disston purchased land in the area. The United States Postal Service would not recognize the name as it conflicted with a town in Hillsborough County. Instead, it was named Bonifacio. In 1890, the town name was changed to Veteran City. In 1910, the name officially changed to Gulfport.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2), of which 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) (26.30%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,527 people, 6,246 households, and 3,154 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,422.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,709.1/km²). There were 7,306 housing units at an average density of 2,579.1 per square mile (996.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.40% White, 7.06% African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 1.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.47% of the population.
There were 6,246 households out of which 16.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.5% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.63.
In the city, the population was spread out with 15.8% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 28.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,809, and the median income for a family was $37,016. Males had a median income of $25,756 versus $23,347 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,801. About 9.5% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.2% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.
GTV640 is the local Government-access television (GATV) cable TV channel for Gulfport. The signal was moved to channel 640 on February 9, 2015, on Bright House Networks. The City of Gulfport, Florida broadcasts live meetings and replays on Brighthouse Cable Channel 640, as well as Live Streaming Video on the internet.
The channel includes city information, information relating to the city's events, a historical video of the city, city meetings, as well as additional programming.
Public education is provided by Pinellas County Schools. Gulfport has two public schools, Boca Ciega High School and Gulfport Elementary School. The closest middle school to Gulfport is Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, located in St. Petersburg.
Gulfport Elementary was the first Montessori school in Pinellas County.
The Gulfport Public Library is located on Beach Boulevard, not far from the Gulfport Multi-Purpose Senior Center and the Catherine Hickman Theater. It is a member of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative, which facilitates inter-library borrowing of materials in the county.
St. Petersburg College, a state college, has multiple campuses in the county and is available for those who aspire to a college degree. In addition, the city of St. Petersburg has a campus of the University of South Florida.
Stetson University College of Law, founded in 1900, is located in Gulfport (having moved there in 1954 from its original location in DeLand). Its tower is one of the best-known images to locals and has become an iconic part of the skyline.
Gulfport has a trolley bus which passengers can ride around the city and the surrounding area for free.
The city is still a sleepy beach town but is gaining interest for its culinary and arts scene, and for its colorful ambiance. The downtown area has a few art galleries, as well as the Catherine A. Hickman Theater, a small performing arts center.
The Gulfport Community Players present several plays each year at the Hickman Theater.
Gulfport is distinguished by its high concentration of artisans inspired by the intense light and tropical scenery. A celebration the first Friday and third Saturday of each month called Art Walk attracts locals and tourists. Many street performers, artists, and craftspeople show up to create a relaxed cultured atmosphere in the warm balmy evening breezes coming off the beach at the end of the street.
Tuesdays are Fresh Market days in the Gulfport Waterfront district from 9 am to 3 pm, on Beach Blvd. Annual festivals include "Get Rescued in Gulfport" on the fourth Saturday of February, a charitable street festival featuring pet rescue organizations from throughout the region, vendors of pet products and demonstrations. "Geckofest" is Gulfport's largest annual street festival, featuring artists, vendors, live music and street performers, and attracting thousands of visitors on Saturday of each Labor Day weekend.
The Catherine A. Hickman Theater of Gulfport is located on Beach Boulevard at 26th Avenue South and is a venue for live theatrical performances. The nearby Gulfport Senior Center offers activities throughout the week for residents within and outside of the city limits.
The Gulfport Casino Ballroom, located on the waterfront, is one of the main event venues in the city. The Casino hosts Swing, Latin, Argentine Tango, and Ballroom Dance events five days a week with a large turnout from all across the Tampa area. The venue is available for rent to the public and is popular for weddings, company functions, and holiday parties. The ballroom features a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) authentic 1930s style dance floor.
Gulfport's police force operates on the water, as well as on the land.
There is a long municipal fishing pier, called Williams Pier, on Boca Ciega Bay. It's near the Casino Ballroom and not far from two Gulfport city parks, Veterans Park and the waterfront park and beach.
In December there is usually an evening holiday boat parade on the bay, with colorful lights decorating the boats.
- "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 19, 2019.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Gulfport city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- Three Names Shape One. St. Petersburg Times. 2001-07-01. Retrieved on 2009-03-18.
- Salustri, Cathy (January 15, 2015). "Once a 'sundown town,' Gulfport reaches out to its black residents". Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. SouthComm. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- "Beckhard Hits Negro Bathing Beach Project". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. May 17, 1937. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com.
Text of [town councilman Bruno] Beckhard's statement follows: '... In the first place Gulfport has never receded from the position it took when most of the men were fishing and women and children were left alone, that no negroes would be allowed within the town limits after sundown. This is not a matter of statute, it is merely a condition that no St. Petersburg negro questions. ...'
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- GTV640 Information Page City of Gulfport. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
- Gulfport Public Library Accessed 03 March 2015.
-  St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2011-10-04/
- Gulfport's Cultural Facilities Accessed 03 Mar 2015.
- Gulfport boasts great dining off the beaten path The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
- Counting down Tampa Bay's best bars: No. 60 to No. 41 St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
- Gritty town cleans up its act, retains its charm Miami Herald. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
- Gulfport pub seeking patron-designed label for new beer Bay News 9. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- Gulfport Municipal Marina City web page with aerial photo of marina; accessed 03 Mar 2015.
- Gulfport Police Department Marine Patrol Police web page with short video about their law-enforcement vessel & responsibilities; accessed 03 Mar 2015.