Older homes can be a challenge. They often need extra effort to bring them into the present while still preserving their unique charm — not so with these three vintage beauties. An expert in the field has beautifully updated each with style and imagination, and the results blend the old and the new to near perfection. For those who value character and history along with the ease of modern living, here are three of the best pre-war homes currently on the market.
SPANISH SPLENDOR | 7706 Westmoreland Drive
Architect Thorning Little is responsible for some of Sarasota’s most lavish homes. For his own residence, he chose a Spanish Mediterranean house that dates back to the boom years of the 1920s. Beautifully remodeled and decorated, it takes visitors right back to the days when the Ringlings ruled the town and Whitfield Estates was the fanciest address around. Filled with authentic period details, including wood-plank flooring, baseboards and crown molding, working fireplaces and a loggia and conservatory, it boasts an unobstructed view of Sarasota Bay yet is elevated above the flood zone. There are three bedrooms, three baths and a charming pool.
Priced at $699,000. For more information, contact Fernando Viteri of Premier Sotheby’s at 941-400-7676.
ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY | 1025 S. Orange Ave.
Thomas Reid Martin came to town in 1910 to build Bertha Palmer’s legendary home, The Oaks, in Osprey. During his long career he designed more than 500 structures in Sarasota, one of the most charming being this Colonial Revival gem located just south of downtown. With its crisp white siding and dark-green shutters, it perfectly evokes the upper-middle class lifestyle before World War II. Set on more than a half-acre of mature landscaping, the home has four bedrooms, four baths, a full attic and a cypress-paneled Florida room. There is also a guest cottage and a second-floor balcony that runs the length of the house, affording a view of the old oaks draped with Spanish moss.
Priced at $899,000. For more information, contact Carolyn Collins of Premier Sotheby’s at 941-320-0722.
COTTAGE CHARM | 1739 Floyd St.
British born and educated, interior designer Pamela Hastings is known for her high-end residential and commercial projects all over the world. For her own home in Southside Village, she transformed a 1926 cottage — complete with white picket fence — into a chic yet informal residence set on a 100-foot-wide lot. The home has three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. In addition to enhancing the old-fashioned charm of the home, the designer added a new master suite and bath, complete with a large walk-in closet. In the back garden there is a 378-square-foot studio/guest cottage. Other features include a vintage front porch and a beautiful old brick chimney that adds character to the façade.
Priced at $499,000. For more information, call Julia McClung, 941-365-6499, or Barbara May, 941-312-1302, of Michael Saunders and Co.
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Sarasota back in the day was a world unto itself — off the beaten path, a quirky resort peopled by eccentric bohemians, circus folk and no-nonsense natives.