Vintage Sarasota: Old City Hall

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Now the site of the famous Marina Jack restaurant, this pier was once home to the Hover Arcade, the city fire department and city hall. The Hover brothers, Dr. William E., J.O. and Frank B.,  purchased Harry Higel’s dock in 1911 after they began to frequent the Sarasota area between the Christmas holiday and April. […]


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Now the site of the famous Marina Jack restaurant, this pier was once home to the Hover Arcade, the city fire department and city hall. The Hover brothers, Dr. William E., J.O. and Frank B.,  purchased Harry Higel’s dock in 1911 after they began to frequent the Sarasota area between the Christmas holiday and April. They expanded it, replacing the wood with cement and turning it into the iconic structure seen here. It housed Dave Broadway’s oyster café, an ice cream parlor, the Lyric Theater, and various offices. Eventually the brothers offered their property to the city who then used it to house the city fire department and the Sarasota County government. Hard economic times coupled with the city’s surge in population eventually resulted in the building being devoted entirely to City Hall in 1948.

Courtesy of the Sarasota Historical Society 

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