Massive 16,000 pound Benoist sculpture arrives at the St. Pete Pier

Massive 16,000 pound Benoist sculpture arrives at the St. Pete Pier

Sculpture of a small seaplane on the waterfront

A massive sculpture by Mark Aeling has just been installed on the St. Petersburg Pier — and it’s a life-sized marvel commemorating the Benoist Airboat. This sculpture commemorates the world’s first ever commercial flight, which traversed the Tampa Bay as the first flight of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line.

Piloted by Tony Jannus, the bold, Benoist airboat – what we would now call a seaplane – departed on January 1st, 1914 from St. Petersburg’s shore. This remarkable airboat made history right off the shores of MGA’s hometown and will be commemorated with a sculpture befitting of the event.

You can view the massive, 16,000 pound sculpture right next to Doc Fords on the Pier. It joins the marquee Bending Arc installation by Janet Echelman has a major arts draw to the St. Pete Pier.

More festive events in St. Petersburg:

The St. Pete Holiday Gift Market Guide

Shop Small St. Pete: Local businesses you can support right now

Green Bench screening holiday movies in the beer garden

Miracle returns to Intermezzo, and it’s the wildest office Christmas party ever

Neighborly Care needs volunteers to help with meal deliveries to senior in need in Pinellas County during the busy holiday season

I Love the ‘Burg launches holiday toy drive with R’Club and Kahwa Coffee

Want to get away for the holidays? This Clearwater hotel may have the best rooftop bar and brunch in the region.

white shirt with red "burg" text in shape of heart on a photo of a sunset in the background
“I Love the Burg With My Whole Heart” T-Shirt

Love what we do at I Love the ‘Burg? 

If you love what we do, please consider purchasing one of our brand new St. Pete inspired tees on our digital shop. We also just launched brand new ‘Burg heart tees to show how much we love this city.

We’ve also just launched a Toy Drive to benefit R’Club Childcare, Inc. Consider dropping off toy donations at your local Kahwa Coffee. Full details HERE.

Do you part and help those in need in Pinellas County. Volunteer with Neighborly Careand help deliver meals to seniors throughout the St. Petersburg area.

Want to learn how to connect with non-profits in the region? Visit The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay’s website to learn about the work they’ve done in the Tampa Bay community with countless non-profit organizations. They’ve also launched a new Mental Health First Aid initiative which aims to train 5,000 in the region. Learn how you can get involved HERE.


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