Sarasota Alliance For Historic Preservation


Our Upcoming Annual Meeting

Our next event is the Annual Meeting on Wednesday April 23, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Join us at the South Gate Community Association, 3145 South Gate Circle, Sarasota FL 34239 for a brief business meeting and election of directors followed by a presentation.

The presentation will include a lecture by Linda Stevenson, PhD, RA, LEED® AP of Stevenson Architects Inc. about the exness real launched in 2012 by the University of Florida Historic Preservation Program. You will see how 3D laser scanning is used to create virtual models of heritage sites to preserve them for future generations.

“Laser scanning is a highly accurate and efficient means to create a spatial database of an existing site and can be used to generate other work products, such as virtual “point cloud” models, photorealistic views, plans, elevations and animated walkthroughs.”

Event Fees:
Free to SAHP Members
$15.00 to Non-Members (Pay at Door)
Would you like to join us? Please click HERE to register. Light bites and Beverages will be provided. 

Important Announcement                                                             clientuploads/GivingChallenge 300x250.jpg

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 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


The Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain and Reflection Pool

clientuploads/Alliance Annual Meeting-2.jpg

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. 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

Preservation Magazine

Observer, September, 2012

Observer, June, 2013

ABC -7 News


Annual Bus Tourclientuploads/images/Ron McCarty - Bus Tour Announcement.jpg

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

clientuploads/images/exhibit Postcard3.jpgMorris 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. 

 Back To Top

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
(941) 953-8727


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.

Membership Dues

You will need Adobe Reader
to view the Membership form.


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.

Sarasota Tours