The midget house is on the market! Yes, that tiny little French castle up by Jungle Gardens that has fascinated the town since the 1920s is currently listed by Carolyn and Gary Collins for $449,000. No other place in town is so wrapped in colorful stories.
4215 Sarasota Ave.
Was it built by John Ringling for a favored circus midget? (Doubtful.) Was it a bootlegger’s hideaway? (Possibly, it certainly has that air.) Is there really money hidden in the walls? (What, and touch that paneling?)
Any worries I had that the interior might be too dark or too weird completely vanished. It’s a fun, sunny house, one of the most charming in town. There’s also a little guest house at the end of a cute little garden.
First photo above, living room; second photo above, kitchen.
This style of house is called Storybook Revival by the architectural historians, and it is just what it sounds like. Houses, often quite small, that take their design cues from the illustrations in children’s books. Most have a Black Forest-thatched roof kind of thing going on, so a French chateau like ours is exceedingly rare. For my money it’s one of the most architecturally significant houses in town.
The castle on Hudson Pointe Drive.
You enter via a moat, which doubles as a swimming pool.
The banqueting hall–er, dining room.