A LOOK AT OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
GRANT FOR ENGLEWOOD'S GREEN STREET CHURCH
Built by local ship builders in 1928, Englewood’s Green Street (Methodist) Church was the community’s first church building. The simple wood-framed building cost $1,250 and was located on the corner of Magnolia and Green Streets. In 1962 the building was moved a short distance and turned to face Green Street. In 1979 the Church of the Nazarene purchased the building. When renovation plans were announced, the Lemon Bay Historical Society (LBHS) became concerned about the historical integrity of the church. After negotiations, the Church of the Nazarene transferred ownership of the building to LBHS but not ownership of the property. The Church of the Nazarene has expansion plans which require the relocation of the Green Street Church or its demolition. LBHS has acquired a permanent location for the church at the Lemon Bay Historical Cemetery on Indiana Avenue (State Road 776). Moving the church to its new location is quite expensive, requiring the steeple to be removed and power and telephone lines to be temporarily taken down during the actual move. Once the church is settled in its new home, more expenses are incurred as the electrical and plumbing are reconnected and the steeple is placed back on the church.
Recognizing the importance of preserving this historic building which is on Sarasota County’s Register of Historic Places, the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation presented the Lemon Bay Historical Society with a $2000 grant to assist with the project. The new location will provide the church more public visibility and accessibility. The Green Street Church is available for weddings, vow renewals, memorial services, musical events, and other public events. For more information, go to www.lemonbayhistory.com
Personal donations to help with this project can be made on their website or by mailing a tax-deductible donation to Lemon Bay Historical Society, P.O. Box 1245, Englewood, FL 34295.
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!
C.B Wilson House
On Saturday, November 13, 2010, the Wilson Family Home was officially opened in Urfer Family Park, near the corner of Bee Ridge Road and Honore Avenue in Sarasota. A large crowd came out for all the festivities and to see the historic home that was moved to this location in 2004.
Sarasota County Commissioners and other notables praised the efforts of the many groups that contributed time, money, and sweat to the extensive rehabilitation of the 1906 house that was occupied by Dr. C.B. Wilson and his family.
For the financial support the Alliance provided in the move of the house, our President, Debra Flynt-Garrett (pictured above at the right) receives a plaque from Lorrie Muldowney, Historic Preservationist at the Sarasota County History Center.
A short history video of Dr. C.B. Wilson was prepared for the event that shows him in his REO automobile – the first car in Sarasota. The actual move of the house and other interesting facets of this dedicated doctor are highlighted.
Jack West architect - 60 years of design
Architect Jack West was very influential in Sarasota's architecture during his time here with various partners from 1949 until his death in 2009. In honor of his incredible contributions to our culture, the Alliance participated with Sarasota County and the Friends of the Sarasota County History Center to produce an exhibit of his projects.
Curated by architect and author Joe King, the exhibit was on display in 2011 in the historic Chidsey Library Building. The exhibit, open to the public, featured more than seventy architectural and urban planning projects and included designs for educational facilities, custom residences, civic and cultural buildings, recreational facilities, hotels, condominiums, and more. Although focused on the Sarasota region, the exhibit also showcased projects and competitions as far reaching as Paris and Egypt.
Tour Venice Architecture
The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation provided $15,000 in funding to help produce a customized tour guide (Tour Venice Architecture) to facilitate and promote a walking/driving tour of significant historical and architectural buildings in Osprey, Nokomis, and Venice.
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 participation 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 above in the Contact Us section.
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