For those who dream of living in a historic home, the area just south of the Ringling Museum is the place to look. Since its inception back in the 1920s, it has always been considered one of Sarasota’s finest neighborhoods. A stimulating mix of college professors, artists and old families that go back generations, the atmosphere is eclectic and slightly bohemian. Here a trophy home is not a McMansion but rather a classic example of gracious living from days gone by. Most sought after are the Spanish Revival homes from the Ringling era, but there are a variety of other styles available, as well. Here are three outstanding examples of the neighborhood’s historic homes currently on the market.
1. Charming Abode
5110 Brywill Circle
Few homes in town can match the pedigree of this three-bedroom, three-bath beauty — it was designed by Dwight James Baum, architect of the Cà d’Zan. He even used some of the same building materials he used in the Ringling mansion. Its current owners, local director and choreographer Jimmy Hoskins and his partner, Realtor Carl Meyer, have beautifully updated it. And, although everything is quite up-to-date, the house has a charming quirkiness, with little nooks and corners and unexpected courtyards. A walled swimming pool has been added, and the surrounding terrace is perfect for entertaining a large group. Hoskins’ artistic talents have been put to good use; he painted the mural in the dining room. There’s also a small guest house. The home is priced at $945,000.
For more information, contact Carl Meyer of Coldwell Banker; 302-1777.
2. Four-square Beauty
2445 Alameda Ave.
Contractor Pat Ball is a legend in the local architectural community. His renovations of older historic homes are the best in town, the perfect combination of historical accuracy plus impeccable taste when it comes to updating kitchens and baths. Now, he and his wife, Judy, have put their own house on the market, a classic four-square on which they both lavished much time and love. It’s got three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths in 2,352 square feet, plus a new garage with another bath. The effect is like stepping back into 1925 and seeing a brand new house. The Balls have retained many of the now-archaic features of a home from that era — things like a back stairway, a sun room and, on the second floor, a large sleeping porch — and they remind us how handy and attractive these features can be. It’s located on a beautiful street in Indian Beach, just a block or so from the bay. Priced at $679,000.
For more information contact Judy Nimz of Michael Saunders & Co.; 374-0196.
3. Spanish Revival
426 Acacia Drive
Perhaps no other house in town captures the spirit of Sarasota in the Roaring Twenties era as much as this Spanish Revival beauty in Sapphire Shores. A member of the Westinghouse family is thought to have constructed the home. It’s big and opulent, with four bedrooms and three baths, plus a separate carriage house now used as a media room with an office above. All the classical touches are there — vaulted ceilings with pecky-cypress beams, wrought-iron railings and fixtures and the original wood and tile floors. The home was extensively renovated several years ago, after a 40-year tenancy by a single owner. New plumbing and wiring were installed, plus new barrel tires on the roof. It’s priced at $1.2 million.
For more information contact Davis Jennings of Coldwell Banker; 388-3966.