Sarasota Alliance For Historic Preservation
Our Annual Homes Tour
The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation is proud to present the 24th Annual Historic Homes Tour on Sunday, March 2nd, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the historic Laurel Park neighborhood. (See map) The public is invited to celebrate Sarasota’s rich architectural heritage by touring 10 significant yet diverse structures.
Tour-goers will begin at the registration table located at 1876 Oak Street where they can also purchase tickets on the day of the event, if needed. As they proceed within the four-block Laurel Park district they will learn about the unique history of each home. This year we are featuring one of the few residential properties designed by Dwight James Baum, the internationally known New York architect, along many other wonderful houses designed by Thomas Reed Martin, including one built for him and his family in the Mediterranean Revival Style so popular in the 1920’s. In addition there will be several Mediterranean Revival style bungalows; one with its original floor plan. An exciting bonus this year, representing our effort to embrace diversity, is a Gold LEED Certified modern infill, built from salvaged materials, and scaled to the bungalow community. This year’s tour also includes a 'hard hat' tour of the Center for Architecture Sarasota where an installation of archival images and plans for future development will be on view.
While enjoying a self-guided walking tour through the Laurel Park neighborhood visitors will see antique cars provided by the Model “A” Restorers Club/Antique Automobile Club of America that reflect the period of the homes. Free parking will be available at the Crissy Galleries 640 South Washington Boulevard, and at the Friendship Center at 1899 Brother Geenen Way. Tickets may be purchased for a donation of $20, here on our webpage [Note - the PayPal function for ticket purchases will be disabled on February 28, 2014]. You may also purchase tickets at the following locations:
- Historic Spanish Point - 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey
- Davidson Drugs -1281 S. Tamiami Trail, 5124 Ocean Blvd., and 6595 Midnight Pass Road
- Sarasota Architectural Salvage - 1093 Central Ave.
- Sarasota County Visitor Information Center - 701 N. Tamiami Trail
- Main Street Traders - 1468 Main St.
- Gateway Bank - 1100 S. Tamiami Trail
- Sarasota County Historical Society - 1260 12th St.
Frequently Asked Questions:
"I paid with PayPal and there isn't time to receive my tickets by mail, what do I do?" A record of your transaction will be at the registration table; you will receive your tour book there which serves as your ticket to each home on the tour.
"How will you know I've paid?"PayPal provides us with a receipt of your transaction.
"Can I buy a ticket in front of each of the houses?"No. You may purchase tickets at one location; 1876 Oak Street.
"Where do I start the tour?"After you register and pick up your tour book, you may visit the historic homes in any order you choose.
"I'm not from here and don't know where Laurel Park is." Enter 1876 Oak Street, Sarasota, FL, into Google Maps or MapQuest for directions to Laurel Park. Or, see map.
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the Alliance is now recognized by the Sarasota County Community Foundation and has an official profile on the Foundation’s Giving Partners program. This partnership acknowledges our valuable contributions to the Sarasota community over the past 29 years and offers professional links to successful grant writing, communications, and donor relations which will strengthen our capacity to fund raise for important preservation projects.
Please take a look at our Giving Partners Profile online. We respectfully encourage you to check us out by perusing our goals, finances, accomplishments and dreams here.
We also welcome your feedback and volunteer participation at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain and Reflection Pool
We are pleased to announce the completion of construction on the Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain in Luke Wood Park. Seventy seven years after the site’s birth the water is once again flowing and new multicolored lights celebrate Mable’s memory.
Through the generous support of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation and the collaborative spirit of The Ringling new life has been given to a historic treasure and a public space enlivened. Steven High, Executive Director of The Ringling stated, “I congratulate the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation for their completion of the Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain. The Ringling Museum was honored to partner with the Alliance to provide support for their restoration of this Memorial Fountain that was originally established in 1936 to honor Mable’s efforts in the beautification of the Sarasota community. I commend the Alliance for the hard work and dedication necessary to restore this important reminder of our community’s history.”
The Selby Foundation grant funded the major construction for the basin. The Ringling collaboration allowed our organization access to an original sculpture for casting the fountain centerpiece. Ringling also shared their relationship with Florida State University Master Craftsman Studios. Phil Gleason, Studio Manager, documented his students restoring and casting the centerpiece for the fountain and used cutting edge 3-D imaging to recreate the bowl which sits atop the ‘Cluster of Boys.’ Around the perimeter is a ring of ‘Myakka bog iron’ rock. These are original to the fountain and were carefully saved during the excavation. The lions guarding the fountain entrance, originally bequeathed by John Ringling to the project were kindly returned from J.D. Hamel Park to their original place with the permission of The Sarasota County Veterans Commission.
The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County's support through the John Ringling Towers Grant for Historic Preservation funded the landscaping. The design was provided by board member Martha Horton, retired landscape architect in collaboration with the Sarasota Garden Club. The landscape, irrigation and walkway installation was done by Diaz Landscape Maintenance with plant material donated by Robert Albritton of Albritton's Nursery. Fundraising will continue to provide historical markers in honor of Mable Ringling and Luke Wood.
Other important contributors are the Sarasota Garden Club, the Senior Friendship Center, Charles Stottlemyer, Jesse White of Sarasota Architectural Salvage, Paver Development, Betsy Bagby, Nancy & David Morgan, Ginger Sutton and over one hundred other individuals and companies who have given their time and money to help make this project a reality.
The fountain’s importance lies in its inception. Mable Ringling was the first President of Sarasota's Founder's Circle, and after her death in 1929, the Sarasota Federation of Garden Circles decided to honor Ringling’s service with a memorial fountain and reflection pool. The fountain tribute was placed in Luke Wood Park in 1936. After World War II, the memorial fountain fell into disrepair from lack of maintenance funding. The fountain was subsequently filled with dirt and abandoned in the early 1950s.
In 2011, the Alliance received permission for the Sarasota City Commission to renovate the fountain. Working from archival images the excavation began on August 30, 2012. With the expert craftsmanship of Rob Craft, the artistry of Pearse Kelly of Splash Mosaics and many volunteer hours from the Sarasota Military Academy cadets, their families, and community friends, the fountain has been restored to its former glory. Some cosmetic work remains such as landscaping, extended shell walkways and commemorative marker that will be installed in early 2014.
The project has not relied on taxpayer funds, but solely on donations, grants and in-kind contributions of services, equipment, expertise and supplies. This project is, as it was originally, an act of collaboration and community effort. The unsung heroes here are the tradesmen, city staff and board members who have worked together with creative thinking, out of the box solutions and persistence of vision. The Sarasota Alliance thanks you all for your help in bringing this asset to the people of Sarasota. Please stop by, enjoy the fountain, and think about what is possible in this incredible historic park.
To view the timeline of the fountain's renovation progress from start to finish, take a few minutes and enjoy this remarkable journey!
Recent Media Coverage about Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain
Annual Bus Tour
Thomas Reed Martin was one of the most successful and prominent architects in Sarasota County. Moving here from Chicago to work for socialite, Mrs. Bertha Palmer, Martin quickly established an office in Florida, eventually building over five-hundred structures within Sarasota County including the design for the Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain and Luke Wood Park. The Alliance presented their Annual Bus Tour, on October 13, 2013 and the event was sold out for both the morning and afternoon excursions. The tour was narrated by Ron McCarty (pictured), Curator and Keeper of Ca'd'Zan at The Ringling. Due to the overwhelming success of this tour, a TRM Tour - 'The Sequel' was hosted on January 26, 2014 with both excursions sold out.
The Building Itself Teaches
Morris Hylton III, Director of Historic Preservation at University of Florida, discussed his research for the exhibit The Building Itself Teaches, which documents the people, events, and designs that shaped the Sarasota Public School Program. The lecture took place at the Sarasota County Visitor Information Center, and History Center Museum, 701 N. Tamiami Trail, on October 18, 2013.
Between 1954 and 1960, nine new facilities radically transformed the public educational environment of Sarasota, Florida and offered a new precedent for school design across postwar America. These five new buildings and four additions would collectively come to be known as the Sarasota Public School Program. Presented by Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, Friends of the Sarasota County History Center and the University of Florida Historic Preservation Program; the exhibit can still be viewed at the Vistor's Center.
Sarasota Alliance For Historic Preservation, inc. All rights Reserved
PO Box. 1754 - Sarasota, FL 34230 (941) 953-8727
An affiliate of the Sarasota History Alive! Network
Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation,Inc.
Post Office Box 1754
Sarasota, Florida 34230
Benefits of membership include participaton in historic homes tours, walking tours, rehabilitation projects, workshops, seminars and much more. Please join us by completing this form and sending it to the address below in the Contact Us section.
You may also pay with PayPal.
We offer three different tour options every year. Our Annual Bus Tour takes you on professionally guided tour past significant homes, buildings and structures with an architectural theme that changes annually. Our Annual Homes Tour changes location every year and offers remarkable homes for you to visit, explore, learn about their history, and appreciate how people do an outstanding job of preservation.
Preservation Opportunities consists of homes or buildings chosen to highlight the risk of them being demolished. You will hear professional preservationists and architects present the history of the structure and offer ways to save it from the wrecking ball. Refreshments are served and it affords you an excellent opportunity to get involved with preservation.
There are a variety of ways to support the Alliance's mission. One way is through the purchase of books about Sarasota's history. Click here for more information.
The Alliance publishes quarterly newsletters containing up to date information on Alliance activities.Newsletters are mailed to members free of charge.