World’s First Airline Monument
St. Petersburg is the birthplace of world-wide commercial aviation, so it’s appropriate that we commemorate that history in a suitable way. The Benoist Centennial Plaza (it’s pronounced “Ben-wah,” by the way) features a full-sized sculpture of the Benoist Airboat that pilot Tony Jannus flew on the First Airline round-trip to Tampa on January 1, 1914. His first passenger that day? St. Pete Mayor Abe Pheil, who paid a then-astronomical sum of $400. Fun historical fact: The exhibit is located on the exact same spot as the hangar used for the World’s First Airline.