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A Chicago socialite discovers a tropical city by the sea and everyone from land developers to the circus follows.When Bertha Honore Palmer came to Sarasota from Chicago in February of 1910 for her first look-see, this was a one-horse town, difficult to reach and practically unknown.
By the end of the 1950s,new housing developments – Kensington Park, South Gate, Greenbriar, Melody Heights, Leisure Lakes and numerous others – were being plotted throughout the county, while two new shopping centers, Ringling and South Gate, began taking business away from the downtown area, formerly the economic heart and soul of the entire county. A major event of the late 1950s was the re-routing of US 41 through Luke Wood Park and along the bayfront, cutting off the downtown from a major asset; Sarasota Bay. At the time, Bird Key was a small island populated only by the old Worcester Mansion, the dream retirement home of Davie and her husband, Thomas Worcester, later the home of Ida Ringling North.
Arvida held an open meeting at the Municipal Auditorium packed with more than 1,000 real estate people who came to hear the company’s vision of Sarasota’s future.
Arvida followed the development of Bird Key with luxurious homes and condominiums on Longboat Key, helping to lay the foundation for today’s modern Sarasota.
As Karl Grismer described it in his book “The Story of Sarasota,” Whitaker “wanted to settle down — to have a home to call his own.
Snell agreed to not only front the money for pioneer Whitaker, but also agreed to tag along. Whitaker eventually acquired more than 193 acres of Bayfront property from 19th through 33rd Street, about one-quarter of it purchased at $1.25 per acre. Whitaker and Snell towed cedar logs across the bay from the dense forests on Longboat Key and built a sturdy log cabin with a detached kitchen. His production quadrupled, and in 1847 he went to Dade City and purchased 10 cows and calves. 1885 - The Florida Mortgage and Investment Company, a Scottish land syndicate, plots Sara Sota and promotes the area in Great Britain as a viable community offering an easy life. 1885 – The Scots colony arrives in December and, to their distress, finds only a wilderness area awaiting them.
1887 - John Hamilton Gillespie is sent by the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company to revive the effort.
1902 – 53 citizens vote to incorporate Sarasota with John Hamilton Gillespie as the first mayor. 1903 - The Seaboard Airline Railroad (known at the time as the United States and West Indies Railroad and Steamship Company) lays tracks into Sarasota, making the more accessible.
1910 - Owen Burns, then living in Chicago, comes to Sarasota and buys the remaining holdings of the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company, approximately 75% of today’s city limits, for $35,000. 1921 – Tired of seeing its tax money going north with little coming back in the way of public improvements, Sarasota breaks away from Manatee County to form Sarasota County. 1925 - The Hotel Sarasota opens on Main Street and Palm Avenue to become Sarasota's first skyscraper. 1926 - The John Ringling Causeway opens with much fanfare, as does the Edwards Theatre, today's Sarasota Opera House. 1927 - John Ringling moves the winter headquarters of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus to Sarasota, a real morale boost for the city.
1931 - The John and Mable Ringling Junior College and School of Arts opens in the old Bay Haven Hotel.
1941 – The Myakka River State Park, Florida’s largest land state park, is officially dedicated. 1967 - The Hover Arcade building at the foot of lower Main Street, the site of the city hall for many years, is demolished. These islands separating Sarasota Bay from the gulf near the city, known as keys, include Lido Key and Siesta Key, which are famous worldwide for the quality of their sandy beaches.
Longboat Key is the largest key separating the bay from the gulf, but it is now evenly divided by the new county line of 1921.
President Bush was visiting an elementary school in Sarasota when the September 11 attacks took place. Fifteen thousand years ago, when humans first settled in Florida, the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico was one hundred miles farther to the west. As the Pleistocene glaciers slowly melted, a more temperate climate began to advance southward. Archaeological research in Sarasota documents more than ten thousand years of seasonal occupation by native peoples. Having been identified on maps by the mid-18th century as Zara Zote,[11] perhaps from an indigenous name, the sheltered bay and its harbor attracted fish and marine traders.
After the 1819 acquisition of Florida as a territory by the United States and five years before it became a state in 1845, the army established Fort Armistead in Sarasota along the bay.
The fort is thought to have been located in the Indian Beach area, and research continues there. Soon the remaining Seminole Indians were forced south into the Big Cypress Swamp and in 1842 the lands in Sarasota, which then were held by the federal government, were among those opened to private ownership by those of European descent via the Armed Occupation Act passed by the Congress of the United States. William Whitaker, born in Savannah, Georgia in 1821, was the first documented pioneer of European descent to settle permanently in what became the city of Sarasota.[12] Before his arrival, both Cuban and American fishermen had built fish camps or ranchos along Sarasota Bay, but these were not used throughout the year. In 1851, Whitaker married Mary Jane Wyatt, a member of a pioneer family who had settled the village of Manatee, that was about thirteen miles (19 km) to the northeast along the river of the same name. In 1867, the Webb family from Utica, New York, came to Florida looking for a place to settle.
To recover from the debt the state incurred through defeat in the Civil War, the central portions of Florida were drained and sold internationally to developers in the North and abroad during the 1880s.
In 1885 a Scots colony was established in Sarasota that related it as a tropical paradise that had been built into a thriving town.[13] A town had been platted and surveyed before the parcels were sold by the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company. Only a few Scots, such as the Browning family, remained in Sarasota along with a determined member of the developer's family, John Hamilton Gillespie. Well respected among her peers in journalism, the Tarpon Springs Leader ranked the Times under her ownership, as "the best weekly paper in the state" and after the state legislature passed a bill to create Sarasota County, it was to Rose Wilson that the telegram was sent to announce it. She lived through the World War I period, the 1920s boom period, the depression, World War II, and Sarasota’s second boom period in the 1950s.
The village of Sarasota was incorporated for local government as a town under state guidelines in 1902 with John Hamilton Gillespie as mayor.
Owen Burns had come to Sarasota for its famed fishing and remained for the rest of his life.
He also went into a business partnership with John Ringling to develop the barrier islands, a fateful decision that bankrupted him when his partner failed to live up to commitments on development agreements. Beside the landmarks, bridges, and developments he built, Burns contributed to the attraction of many around the country to Sarasota. As war in Europe threatened, Bertha Palmer touted the beauty of Sarasota and its advantages to replace the typical foreign destinations of her social peers. In her early publicity, Palmer compared the beauty of Sarasota Bay to the Bay of Naples, and also touted its sports fishing. Palmer retained most of the original Webb Family structures and greatly expanded the settlement.
Also arriving in 1910, Owen Burns closely followed Bertha Palmer to Sarasota and with two purchases, he quickly became the largest landholder within what now is the city, therefore many of the huge Sarasota properties she owned are in what now is Sarasota County (which did not exist during her lifetime).
Her sons continued her enterprises and remained as investors and donors in Sarasota after the death of Bertha Palmer in 1918. Other communities in the area were incorporated or began to grow into towns that were quite distinct from the bay front community whose plat ended at what is now Tenth Street.
Two sisters, Katherine McClellan and Daisietta McClellan, became real estate developers during this period. Women have played a significant role in the development of Sarasota, perhaps not so contrary to many communities, but the history of Sarasota has documented their roles very publicly. An area in northern Sarasota attracted many of the Ringling brothers, who had created their wealth as circus magnates, at the turn of the century. Charles Thompson had joined the staff of the Ringling Brothers Circus when it began to purchase smaller or failing circuses, and to operate them separately. On adjacent parcels of Thompson's Shell Beach where Ellen and Ralph Caples built their winter retreat, Mable and John Ringling built their compound.
The next large Shell Beach parcel, immediately to the north, passed between Ellen Caples, Mable and John Ringling, and a few others several times without development until 1947.
The tract abutting that parcel was re-platted in 1925 as Seagate with the intention of creating an entire subdivision.
The now-historic neighborhood of Indian Beach Sapphire Shores grew immediately to the south of the area where these grand homes were built on the bay.
Charles Ringling and his wife, Edith, began building their bay front winter retreat in the early 1920s.
John Ringling invested heavily in developments on the barrier islands, known as keys, which separate the shallow bay from the Gulf of Mexico. Just before the market crashed, Ringling had purchased several other circuses with hopes of combining them with the existing circus and selling shares on the stock exchange. The board of the circus, which included Edith Ringling and other members of the family, removed John Ringling and placed another director, Samuel Gumpertz, in charge of the corporation. In 1925 John Nolen, a professional planner, was hired to develop a plan for the downtown of the city. This plan was abandoned in the 1960s when pressure to increase speeds on Tamiami Trail drove the demolition of the city hall and the redirection of the route past the bay front, severing the community from the waterfront. The boom of the 1950s failed to end in a crash, but almost a hundred years after the first speculation crash that affected her so badly in the mid-1920s, [1] Sarasota became identified as the epicenter of the 2008 real estate crash. Sarasota has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers, mild winters, and high humidity year-round. As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 52,715 people, 23,427 households, and 12,064 families residing in the city. The median income for a household in the city was $34,077 and the median income for a family was $40,398. From 2005-2007, Sarasota County had a total population of 368,000 - 192,000 (52 percent) females and 176,000 (48 percent) males.
The per capita income for the county was $28,326 and females had a median income of $25,721 versus $32,114 for males.
Sarasota municipal government was last incorporated in 1913, adopting the city type of local government found in the United States. Many aspects of the city are overseen by the county government ranging from parks, the bay, major waterways, county designated roads, the airport, fire departments, property and ad valorum taxes, voting, the health department, extension services, storm water control, mosquito control, the courts, the jail, libraries, and schools therefore election of county commissioners is important to city voters.
The City of Sarasota offers the following services to residents within the incorporated city limits.
Sarasota is the home of the Sarasota Orchestra, which was founded by Ruth Cotton Butler in 1949 and known for years as the Florida West Coast Symphony.
In the early 1950s, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art purchased a historic Italian theater, the Asolo (now called the Historic Asolo Theater). Later a local architect, Stuart Barger, designed and oversaw the construction of another Asolo Theater, housed in the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts. Please allow enough time for this transfer in your travel plans so that you arrive in enough time for the ceremony at 4:00.
The population of 840 souls had only eight years earlier voted to incorporate as a town, and their chosen motto, “To Grow and Prosper,” was a combination of hope and prayer.
The new developments differed from their 1920s predecessors in that they were not offered for sale as sure-fire money-making opportunities but, rather, as fine places to settle down and raise a family. Arvida, which had been an important developer on the East Coast of Florida, had major plans for Bird Key and the other Ringling holdings on St.
Bird Key would be dredged and expanded to make room for 511 home sites, 291 of which would be waterfront with prices ranging from $9,000 to $32,000. In so doing, it was said, the Roaring ‘20s dreams of John Ringling were fulfilled by Arthur Vining Davis. He ran away from home at age 14 with only the clothes on his back and the contents of his father’s pants pockets: small cash and a gold watch.
Marks, Fla., as a fisher where half-brother Hamlin Valentine Snell found him and persuaded him to “get a little schooling” in Tallahassee. Snell’s law practice was in shambles, he had many friends who had settled along the Manatee River, and he didn’t have much else to do. Before his death he held positions as president of the Florida Senate, speaker of the Florida House of Representative, and served as Tampa’s eighth mayor. Marks southbound along the Gulf Coast, stopped to visit the Bradens, Gambles, Wyatts, and others at the Manatee River, then continued south. A short way up the bayou, on the east bank, they found a pool of fresh water, fed by crystal water pouring forth out of rocks in a steady stream. Several Cuban fisherman, then squatting on Longboat Key, told them they thought his section unsurpassed anywhere on the West Coast.

She invests heavily in the area and opens a Chicago connection as many prominent men from the Windy City follow her down to invest in the area. He will align himself with the progressive members of the community and help guide Sarasota toward becoming a winter destination of choice for northern snowbirds.
He and his brother Charles will be major players during Sarasota’s boom-time growth period with John concentrating on Lido, St. Chicago capitalist Andrew McAnsh constructed the building in just 60 days of around-the-clock work. McGraw brings Spring Training to Sarasota with the arrival of the mighty New York Giants, one of the era’s power house teams.
A hurricane sweeps through Miami with devastating force in September, signaling the end of the already slowing Florida real estate boom. During the war it will be used as a training base for the Army Air Corps; Longboat Key becomes a site for bombing practice.
The portion of the key that parallels the Sarasota city boundary that extends to that new county line along the bay front of the mainland was removed from the city boundaries at the request of John Ringling in the mid-1920s, who sought to avoid city taxation of his planned developments at the southern tip of the key.
For five thousand years while the current sea level existed, fishing in Sarasota Bay was the primary source of protein and large mounds of discarded shells and fish bones attest to the prehistoric human settlements that existed in Sarasota and were sustained by the bounty of its bay.
The first recorded contact was in 1513, when a Spanish expedition landed at Charlotte Harbor, just to the south. Soon there were fishing camps, called ranchos, along the bay that were established by both Americans and Cubans who traded fish and turtles with merchants in Havana. The army established the fort at a rancho operated by Louis Pacheco, an African slave working for his Cuban-American owner. The area already had a Spanish name—'Zara Zote'—on maps dating back to the early 18th century and it was retained as, Sara Sota.
After time spent along the Manatee River at the village of Manatee, Whitaker built upon Yellow Bluffs, just north of present day Eleventh Street. They raised eleven children on Yellow Bluffs despite the hardships faced by solitary pioneers.
The raid was made by a formerly friendly Seminole chief, Holata Micco, dubbed Billy Bowlegs, after whom Bowlees Creek may have been named. Unfortunately, their homestead site has not been preserved, having been developed in the 1980s.
Not becoming a state until 1845 Florida was acquired by the United States as a territory in 1819. When the astonished investors in the "Ormiston Colony" arrived by ship in December they had to wade ashore, only to find that their primitive settlement lacked the homes, stores, and streets promised. He was a manager for Florida Mortgage & Investment Company, and began to develop Sarasota following the plan for the failed colony.
When a referendum endorsed the split from Manatee locally, Wilson changed the name of her newspaper to The Sarasota County Times. After her retirement from publishing in 1923 Wilson continued her community work with many local organizations, including the influential Woman’s Club in Sarasota, into the 1940s. It was re-platted in 1912 and its government then was incorporated as a city in 1913, with A. Not only did he become the largest landowner in the city, but he founded a bank, promoted the development of other businesses, and built its bridges, landmark buildings, and mansions.
In 1925 Burns built the El Vernona Hotel, naming it after his wife, Vernona Hill Freeman Burns. Among his five children, he also raised the most important historian for the community, his daughter, Lillian G. As the century advanced, the bounty of the bay continued to attract visitors, until overfishing depleted its marine life. The pioneer site has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Historic Spanish Point and is open to the public for a fee. Aside from drawing worldwide attention to the city as a vacation destination and a chic location for winter residences, as well as being renowned for the ranching and agricultural reforms she introduced, two state parks are located on properties she held, portions of the Oscar Scherer State Park and the enormous Myakka River State Park, that may be counted as her greatest tangible legacy to Sarasotans. They have been absorbed as Sarasota grew, but some have retained their names and are recognized today as neighborhoods. They created the McClellan Park subdivision, which is one of the most significant and successful residential neighborhoods south of downtown. Bertha Palmer was not so unusual here, Many other examples may be found by exploring the county records at the Sarasota County History Center. In 1919, these holdings were consolidated into one huge circus, billed as "the greatest show on Earth".
The city was flooded with new people seeking jobs, investment, and the chic social milieu that had been created by earlier developers. Sapphire Shores provided homes to the professionals and retirees who wished to be, or were, closely associated with these wealthiest residents of the community. He participated in Sarasota's civic life and gave advice to other entrepreneurs starting new businesses in Sarasota.
It is a winding road leading east from the bay front at what now is Tamiami Trail toward the winter circus headquarters. Although he had several corporations and development projects in Sarasota, he worked in partnership with Owen Burns to develop the keys through a corporation named, Ringling Isles Estates. Florida was the first area in the United States to be affected by the financial problems that led to the Great Depression. He laid out the streets to follow the arch of the bay front with a grid beyond, that extended north to what is now Tenth Street and south to Mound. At that time the numbered streets began at Burns Square and Burns' triangular building separating the intersection of Orange and Pineapple Avenues, was on First Street.
Broadway, the road that connected the downtown bay front with the northern parts of the city along the bay had become part of the new Tamiami Trail that was being created. By the last decade of the century, automobile traffic had become so dominant that intersections beyond human-scale barred all but the most adventurous from attempting crossings on foot. There are distinct rainy and dry seasons in Sarasota, with the rainy season lasting from June to September, and the dry season from October to May.
Sixty-three percent of the households received earnings and 28 percent received retirement income other than Social Security.
The title of its government is City of Sarasota and it is governed by a five-person commission elected by popular vote, two members of which serve in the ceremonial positions of mayor and vice-mayor as chosen by the commission every April. It holds a three-week Sarasota Music Festival that is recognized internationally and boasts that it attracts renowned teachers and the finest students of chamber music. It is a multi-theater complex, located farther east on the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art property, being placed between Bay Shore Road and Tamiami Trail, and facing south toward Ringling Plaza. Livestock still wandered freely, sewage washed into Sarasota Bay and fishing and agriculture were the community’s economic mainstays. Just as the announcement that Andrew McAnsh was going to build the Mira Mar Hotel had signaled that Sarasota was about to enter a new and exciting era, the announcement by Arthur Vining Davis’ Arvice Corporation that they were coming to Sarasota signaled another step forward.
The gathering was headline news in the October 16, 1959, edition of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, which noted that the crowd was in a festive mood and Arvida’s proposals for Sarasota were well-received.
He eventually took in a partner with his first American neighbor, Joseph Woodruff, in 1844. Gillespie begins a building program and constructs the De Soto hotel at the foot of lower Main Street. The Mira Mar Hotel was hailed as “The Gem of the West Coast.” Finally Sarasota suitable accommodations for wealthy snowbirds. Pipcorn of Milwaukee becomes the first person to pay $1,000 for a front foot of downtown property. Although they never were completed in the quickly faltering economy, those development concessions granted by the city never were reversed and the county has retained regulation of those lands ever since. Census Bureau, Sarasota had a population of 52,488 in 2007.[8] In 1986 it became designated as a certified local government. Drawings of the fort give a clue to the location as well, showing a significant landmark point that still exists at Indian Beach. He told them about a high bluff of land on Sarasota Bay that would make a good location for a homestead. They chose Osprey as their postal address, since federal regulations required the use of only one word for the new address. Hillsborough County was created from Alachua and Monroe counties in 1834 and many early land titles cite it as the county governing Sarasota.
In 1887 he built the De Sota Hotel which opened on February 25 hosting a large social event and celebration. Shortly after the opening of the hotel, the land boom crash in Florida struck a fatal blow to his finances because of the unfulfilled partnership agreement. She developed and promoted many innovative practices that enabled the raising of cattle to become a large-scale reality in Florida. She did participate, however, in speculation in the city along with others, purchasing undeveloped land in great quantities, and many parcels bear her name or that of her sons among those in abstracts.
Some communities, such as Overtown, Bay Haven, Indian Beach, Shell Beach, Bee Ridge, and Fruitville have all but faded from the memory of most living there now. Only two of the original five founding brothers now survived, but other members of their families continued to participate in the business or serve on its board of directors. Edith and Charles Ringling built a compound that included a home for their daughter, Hester Ringling Landcaster Sandford. Some other historic names associated with that parcel are Bertha Palmer, her son Honore, and A. All of these historic homes and the museum have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Indian Beach, which had been a separate community at one time, contained pioneer homes that survived among the fashionable new homes built during the boom era of the 1920s. It crosses Washington Boulevard where Charles Ringling built the Sarasota Terrace Hotel, a high-rise in the Chicago style of architecture, opposite the site which Ringling would donate for the county seat.
For decades Edith Ringling remained there and continued her role in the administration of the circus, assuming many duties of her husband, and her cultural activities in the community. In 1926 development speculation began to collapse with bank failures on the eastern coast of Florida, much earlier than most parts of the country. While Ringling continued to invest in expensive artwork, he left grand projects unfinished, such as a Ritz hotel on one of the barrier islands. His estate was saved only because he had willed it, together with his art collection, to the state and he died just before he would have become bankrupt. Nolen shifted the existing numbered streets to the north, beginning above what now is Main Street. At community planning charrettes, designs began to circulate that called for the reunification of the downtown to the bay front and removal of the designation of the bay front road as a highway. Seventeen percent of the population was under 18 years and 30 percent was 65 years and older. Sarasota later was designated as the county seat when Sarasota County was carved out of Manatee County in 1921 during the creation of several new counties. Edwards built a theater that could be adapted for either vaudeville performances or movie screenings.
Everett "Chick" Austin, the museum's first director, arranged the purchase and reassembly of the theater for performances of plays and opera.
It was built around a rococo, historic Scottish theater, which had been shipped to Florida. There were a few boarding houses downtown and the only real hotel, the DeSoto on Gulf Stream Avenue, was in such deplorable condition that Mrs.
He brought the first cattle, oranges, guava, and a semblance of settlement to the frontier that later became the arts nexus of Florida. Wilson was a community leader, and as editor of Sarasota’s only newspaper, she kept her reader informed of the transformation taking place in the electoral system as women were allowed to vote for the first time. During the year, Sarasota is booming as new banks, hotels, housing developments, churches, schools and businesses of all types open.
Its current official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. At one time, it and all of Longboat Key were considered part of Sarasota and confusing contemporaneous references may be found discussing them.
Sarasota is a principal city of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the seat of Sarasota County. Deep springs and catchment basins, such as Warm Mineral Springs, were close enough to the Sarasota area to provide camp sites, but too far away for permanent settlements.

Shortly before the fort was abandoned because of severe epidemics, the chiefs of the Seminole Indians gathered to discuss their impending forced march to the Oklahoma Territory. In the 1930s the Whitaker family gave the cemetery to the Daughters of the American Revolution on the understanding that any lineal descendants of William and Mary Whitaker and their spouses could be buried there as long as space remained. When the Webbs arrived in Sarasota looking for the bluff, they described it to Bill Whitaker. Hillsborough was divided in 1855, placing Sarasota under the governance of Manatee County until 1921, when three new counties were carved out of portions of Manatee.
In May 1886 he completed a two hole golf course which is thought to be one of the first golf courses in America. He created novel developments such as Burns Court to attract tourists and built commercial establishments to generate additional impetus to the growing community. Ironically, it was the same former partner, John Ringling, who took advantage of the situation and purchased the hotel for a portion of its value, although several years later, with the crash of the stock market, Ringling would meet the same financial fate. At her "Meadowsweet Farms", Palmer also pioneered large-scale farming and dairy in the area and made significant contributions to practices that enabled the development of crops that could be shipped to markets in other parts of the country. Overtown expanded to include what now is designated as the historic Rosemary District and the boundaries of Newtown now merge with that. It deviated from the typical grid system used for large developments, created a closely knit community, and provided a yacht basin, tennis courts, and other recreational sport facilities. Soon, children and members of the extended family increased the presence of the Ringling family in Sarasota.
Performers and staff members began to settle in Sarasota, and established the Ringling Circus as part of the Sarasota community. Encouraging its creation, he donated land to the newly formed county—upon which he also built its government offices and courthouse as a gift to the community. Her daughter, Hester, and her sons were active in Sarasota's theatrical and musical venues. To facilitate development of these holdings a bridge was built to the islands by his partner, Owen Burns.
A film about the estate that is shown to museum visitors, states that his bank balance was less than four hundred dollars when he died. The city hall, situated in the Hover Arcade at the foot of Main Street, was on the waterfront and the city dock extended from it. New Urbanism concepts focused upon restoring Sarasota to being a walkable community and taking the greatest advantage of its most beautiful asset, Sarasota Bay. It is situated at the intersection of Pineapple Avenue and Second Street, having been restored and used for operas. Palmer and her party had to be lodged at the Halton Sanitarium, which was spruced up for her stay.Palmer’s visit was a seminal event in the community’s history. Although there is no similar documentation regarding the name of Sarasota, that federal one-word rule for postal designations may be the reason that Zara Zota or Sara Sota became Sarasota. By 1905 he had completed a nine hole 110-acre course to support his favorite pastime, golf.
It was the first newspaper published in Sarasota and Rose Wilson continued publication of the paper alone until 1923 after her husband died in 1910.
The Ringling College of Art and Design includes for its administration building, a hotel developed for the community of Bay Haven when Old Bradenton Road was the main thoroughfare north to the Manatee River.
From 1911 Mable and John Ringling spent their winter stays in that house and eventually, they would purchase a large parcel of Thompson property for their permanent winter quarters in Sarasota.
Ringling Brothers Circus established its winter home in Sarasota during 1919 following the death of Alf T., when Charles Ringling assumed many of his duties. Ringling did lend his name to an art school established by others in Sarasota, however reluctantly. Roundabouts were discussed as traffic calming devices that could be integrated into gracious designs for safe and efficient movement of automobiles among increased use by bicyclists and pedestrians, along with reduction of pollution.
The rate of foreclosures is increasing as the values remain low and governments are losing taxes to support services because of the decline in values.
These income sources are not mutually exclusive; that is, some households received income from more than one source. Adolph Loewi, a Venetian collector and dealer, had purchased the theater and stored its parts until the purchase and shipment to Sarasota for the museum.
She was one of the most famous women of her time; all at once, the international spotlight was cast upon Sarasota. Most of the indigenous natives of Florida, such as the Tocobaga and the Caloosa, had perished from epidemics carried by the Spanish. The boundary of the community once extended to Bowlees Creek, but that was redrawn to an arbitrary line in order to divide the airport so its oversight could include both counties.
She participated in the leadership of the community through many organizations and provided editorial opinions on most early issues. Ringling had put his partner, Owen Burns, into bankruptcy by using money from the treasury of their corporation for use on another Ringling project that was failing. Vehicles and materials could pass through the arcade and railroad tracks led directly to the terminus. 301 in northern Manatee County, the trail made a "dog's leg" turn toward the west at Cortez Road. The theater was rebuilt in a building that extended to the west of the northern wing of the museum, where John Ringling had intended his unrealized art school would be built.
Venues around the city were used for films and events that focused upon French films and their stars. Other residents from the Windy City followed her down to explore the area Palmer claimed to be so lovely.
They mostly had maintained permanent settlements that were used from late Fall through Spring, moving to settlements farther north during the Summer.
Property records and street addresses north of that new county line and south of the creek, however, remain as "Sarasota" due to established postal designations, although they remain governed by Manatee County. Tamiami Trail was developed in the mid-1920s and a bridge across the creek eliminated it as a natural barrier limiting development.
He attracted several members of the Ringling family to Sarasota as a winter retreat as well as for investments in land.
The center of Saint Armand key contains Harding Circle and the streets surrounding it are named for other U.S.
In Sarasota it turned back toward the east to follow Main Street through downtown before rejoining U.S. Although not over yet, it is likely to be labeled as another boom period-crash, not in undeveloped land and not just in Florida, but this time it began with equity-based home mortgages and has led to a major financial crisis. The new building, containing the historic theater, was separated from the museum by a small garden that featured statues of dwarfs. Shell Beach became the location where the grand estates would be built on the highest land along the bay as well as where the Sapphire Shores and The Uplands developments are today.
In the 1980s, the theater was used by a foreign film club that showed its films on Monday nights. Dredge and fill by Owen Burns created even more dry land to develop, including Golden Gate Point. Shortly after the June 1929 death of his wife, Mable, his reversal began because his stock investments were affected.
When the club expanded, it built its own theater at Burns Court near Burns Square in downtown Sarasota. So impressed was he with the intrinsic tropical beauty of the area that he bought out the holdings of the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company. Winter residents, called snowbirds, flocked to purchase these seasonal homes marketed to the well-to-do.
Along with other progressive members of the community, he saw that Sarasota’s future lay in its potential to attract snowbirds wanting to escape the frigid winters of the north.As the new owner of approximately three-fourths of the town, Burns immediately formed several companies—Burns Realty Company, Burns Dock and Commercial Company, Burns Transportation Company and the Burns Supply Company—and aligned with those who wanted to clean-up and modernize Sarasota. Harry Higel, called Sarasota’s indefatigable booster, began developing the north end of Sarasota Key as Siesta on the Gulf. Higel served five terms as a member of the town and city council and was mayor for three terms. Even before the first bridge was completed in 1917, he was busy at the task of transforming the island into a winter resort, a place he developed “along the lines that appeal to the well-to-do, who wish to leave the snows…and get down here for five or six months of continuous good weather.” He opened bathhouses for swimming, picnics and fishing. In 1915, his Higelhurst Hotel was constructed on Big Pass and ferried customers back and forth to the mainland.For the next dozen years, Sarasota moved along, growing at a steady, albeit unspectacular, pace. Those in Sarasota who leaned toward tourism and away from fishing and agriculture began lobbying to break away from Manatee County and form their own county government. They argued that while many tax dollars were going into the Manatee County coffers, not nearly enough were coming back down to help improve the schools and infrastructure in the southern part of the county, which included Sarasota, Osprey, Venice, Englewood, Myakka and Manasota. The split occurred in 1921 with the City of Sarasota beating out Venice as the site of the new county seat.
Free to go their own way, the citizens of Sarasota were poised to capitalize on the frenetic Florida Land Boom, which was soon to explode.Along with all of Sarasota’s natural attributes—the “salubrious” climate, the gorgeous bays and Gulf, the tropical out-islands and creeks and rivers—Sarasota County had a wealth of visionary men and women who had the wherewithal to capitalize on the influx of newcomers pouring into the state during the real estate boom. Henry Ford’s Model T made travel for the masses possible and chambers of commerce throughout the state sought to lure as many of them as they could to their particular areas.Beginning in October 1923, when Andrew McAnsh constructed the Mira Mar Apartments and Mira Mar Hotel on Palm Avenue, Sarasota was awash with building projects.
Major subdivisions were platted throughout the county and were touted with full-page advertisements in the local newspapers. Jazz music blared from real estate offices and slick salesmen sold binders on properties that were then resold at escalating prices, sometimes several times in the same day.
One real estate company asked, “How Does Your Brain Work?” and assured if it was not fast, you would not make money in the real estate market. Gulf Coast Realtors warned that “12 hours is ancient history in Florida real estate.”Two of the major players during this free-wheeling era were John Ringling and his brother, Charles. John opened Lido Key to the public when he constructed the John Ringling Causeway, which stretched from Golden Gate Point. Armands and Longboat, including a Ritz-Carlton Hotel that was never completed.Ringling is credited with laying the foundation for our cultural heritage by building the John and Mable Ringling Museum. Sarasota derived a wealth of much-needed publicity from the scribes who traveled with the major league teams and wrote glowing accounts about our Gulf Coast community.
Ringling’s brother, Charles, concentrated his development efforts east of town with the Sarasota Terrace Hotel, the Court House Subdivision and some office buildings on Ringling Boulevard. Both of the Ringlings were very involved in the cultural and civic affairs of the community.Burns’ ongoing efforts included the buildings at Herald Square, Burns Court Bungalows, the Burns Office, Ca d’Zan, the construction of the John Ringling Causeway and the El Vernona Hotel, the largest of the boom-era hostelries. Called the Aristocrat of Beauty, it vied with the Mira Mar Hotel for those seeking luxury accommodations. During the next year, newcomers slowed to a trickle and the fast-talking, binder-boy salesmen, with their promises of fantastic wealth to be made in real estate, left town. It became increasingly difficult for local government to pay for even rudimentary improvements to the infrastructure.At the end of 1927, John Ringling (Charles died in 1926) decided it was prudent to move the winter headquarters of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus to Sarasota from Bridgeport, Connecticut. It gave the area a morale boost, offered needed jobs to the locals and became one of the most popular attractions in the state, drawing thousands to Sarasota each year. The circus also advertised Sarasota as it traveled around the country.By 1928, the town that had been electric with the excitement of transforming itself from an out-of-the-way village into a fabulous destination for the rich and famous, came to the realization that the bubble had burst. Downtown storefronts were abandoned, weeds grew in the streets, housing projects sat wanting.
In 1927, the number fell to $470,567, then to $83,596 in 1929 and only $51,880 in 1933.While the years of the Great Depression were bleak in Sarasota and the rest of the nation, there were a few bright spots. Smith called the park a dream come true, and the facility serves the community to this day.Another WPA project still in use is the post office building, which was dedicated by Postmaster James A. In order to bulk-up summer tourism, the Chamber of Commerce pushed for a lavish beachfront bathing pavilion.
This would be the storied Lido Casino, which opened in 1940 and went on to become one of Sarasota’s most popular gathering places. Designed by Sarasota School of Architecture architect Ralph Twitchell, it offered dining, dancing and a cocktail lounge and was a regular gathering place for everything from senior proms to political rallies and beauty pageants.
It was demolished in 1969.During the World War II years, Sarasota and Venice were both swarming with uniformed service personnel being trained for Army Air Corps duty at the Sarasota- Bradenton and Venice air bases. The Sarasota base accommodated nearly 3,500 men while Venice swelled to 6,000, a major presence in a town practically deserted after the real estate bust. Many of these servicemen fell in love with the area, which was then a slow-paced tropical paradise, and vowed to return one day.

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