Sarasota Alliance For Historic Preservation
25th Annual Historic Homes Tour - March 1, 2015
We are proud to present the 25th Annual Historic Homes Tour on Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the historic Laurel Park neighborhood. The public is invited to celebrate Sarasota’s rich architectural heritage by touring 12 significant yet diverse structures on one of the first downtown neighborhoods established in 1925.
Tour-goers will learn about the unique history of each home with one structure designed by award winning New York architect, Dwight James Baum. Baum is known for significant local landmarks, including the Ca’d’Zan at the Ringling Museum and the Sarasota County Courthouse. Two of the properties are Mediterranean-Revival apartment complexes, Pineapple Apartments and Spanish Oaks Apartments, dating from the 1925. An exciting addition this year, our mission to embrace the diversity of this community’s architectural heritage, is a three-story LEED Gold Certified modern infill, scaled to the historic community. We also have a 1925 cottage that has been reconfigured inside and updated to a LEED Platinum Certification.
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 Senior Friendship Center at 1899 Brother Geenen Way and Crissy Galleries 640 South Washington Boulevard and the Woman’s Exchange 539 Orange Avenue. Tickets may be purchased for a donation of $20.00 on our webpage (on the right side bar), or onsite the day of the tour in the parking lot of the Woman’s Exchange 539 Orange Avenue.
Tickets are also available at the following locations:
• Davidson Drugs-1281 S. Tamiami Trail, 5124 Ocean Blvd. and 6595 Midnight Pass Road
• Sarasota Architectural Salvage-1093 Central Avenue
• Main Street Traders-1468 Main Street
• Sarasota County Historical Society-1260 12th Street
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
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.
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25th Annual Homes Tour:
Tickets are no longer available online; please purchase them in person for a donation of $20.00, in the parking lot of the Woman’s Exchange 539 Orange Avenue. The event is March 1, 2015 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Thank you for your understanding.
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.