Vintage Sarasota

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Ringling art museum
February 2014

Vintage Sarasota: Ringling Museum

Ringling Museum (ca 1930). One of Sarasota’s finest staples, the Ringling Museum officially and permanently opened to the public on January 17, 1932. Due to economic downturn in the ‘20s and ‘30s, John Ringling employed 300 members of the winter circus crew to help with construction when builders and land speculators left the area. In its first three […]

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post office 2
January 2014

Vintage Sarasota: Post Office

Post Office (ca 1940). The Federal Building, the first permanently located (though not the first official) post office for Sarasota, was dedicated February 15, 1935. From the late 1800’s to the mid 1920’s, the post office changed locations a number of times, from stores to homes, a bank building, and even to a section of the Cummer Arcade […]

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Chambliss 6
January 2014

Vintage Sarasota: Palmer Bank

Palmer Bank (n.d.) Despite the collapsing land boom in the area and the economic crisis surrounding the times, the opening of Palmer Bank in 1929 saw potential growth. Within its first day of business, patrons deposited as much as $338,000! While other banks were closing around the city, Palmer Bank, backed by prominent business players in […]

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Court House Then and Now
January 2014

Vintage Sarasota: Court House

Court House (ca late 1920). Designed by Dwight James Baum (the same New Yorker who commissioned the Ca’d’Zan and the El Vernona-John Ringling Hotel), the Court House follows in his Mediterranean Revival style. Built in 1926-27, the floor plan has two wings intended to demonstrate the balance of power: one for administration, the other for judicial […]

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Early fire
January 2014

Vintage Sarasota: Bay View Hotel Fire

Bay View Hotel Fire (1910). In the early 1900’s, Sarasota lacked a proper fire department. For this reason, simple acts like carrying a candle into a stable was seen as a serious offense, and the perpetrator was subject to fines of $50 or doing jail time. Materials and floor plans used in construction made houses and […]

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55-Ca'd'Zan-jpeg
December 2013

Vintage Photo: Ca’d’Zan

This week’s Vintage Photo: The Ringling Museum’s Ca d’Zan, circa 1950.

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Gillespie 4
December 2013

Vintage Sarasota: John Hamilton Gillespie

John Hamilton Gillespie (1920). This photograph of “The Father of Sarasota” was taken only a few years before Gillespie’s death in 1923. Affectionately referred to as “Colonel” in the community, Gillespie served as the first mayor of the Town of Sarasota, holding office for six terms following his election in 1902. He is credited with […]

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John and Ida Chidsey
December 2013

Vintage Sarasota: John and Ida Chidsey

Chidsey Library Dedication: John and Ida Chidsey (1941). On May 12, 1941, Sarasota decided it needed a formal library. Having a makeshift library change hands and locations over the past 40 years, John and Ida Chidsey donated the $25,000 necessary to build the library. The dedication ceremony pictured above took place on November 13, 1941 in […]

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Longboat Ritz-Carlton
December 2013

Vintage Sarasota: Longboat Ritz-Carlton

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Aerial
November 2013

Vintage Sarasota: Warm Mineral Springs

Warm Mineral Springs (n.d) Warm Mineral Springs is renowned for its health benefits in the spa-like water, as well as its fossilized human, plant and animal artifacts that date back up to 10,000 years ago, making it a significant resource for archaeologists. The discovery of a human skull by William Royal in the 1970’s forced […]

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