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The Hilton Leech Studio and Residence/Amagansett Art School
Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 3, 2011 6 years ago

Historic Preservation

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

McClellan Park was platted prior to the Florida land boom of the 1920s. It resides on bayfront land once owned by Sarasota pioneer and postmaster Charles Abbe.

Sisters Katherine and Daisietta McClellan designed the subdivision and named it in memory of their father. The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation 21st annual Historic Home Tour features four homes and one bonus stop in the historic neighborhood.

The Hilton Leech Studio and Residence/Amagansett Art School
1666 Hillview St.

This house and art school are best described as an early example of modern/contemporary style of architecture and were important contributors to a nationally recognized art colony in Sarasota, which began in the 1930s and lasted into the 1950s.

The property — today owned by Diana and Frank Colson — is listed in both the National Register of Historic Places and the City of Sarasota Historic Register, and is part of the nucleus of what became known as The Sarasota Art Colony in the 1940s.

Originally constructed for use as a World War II Army barracks, the art-school building was moved to the site in 1947 from the Sarasota Army Air Base, which was once located where the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport now sits.

The Warriner-Docking House
1677 Hyde Park St.

Built in 1963 for $14,500, this modest home now belongs to artists Julee Docking and John Barends. The couple’s works of art, which range from mobiles to paintings, adorn almost every space of the house, even extending into their own private jungle in the backyard. A massive shady oak tree covered in bromeliads was once surrounded by a screened lanai, but it now stands free.

During early morning and evening, when the sun shines in through a rectangular skylight in the foyer, several of Barends’ homemade prisms send rainbows soaring throughout the home, which was recognized by the Architectural Record in 1961.

1715 S. Oval Drive

Although the early history of this craftsman-style bungalow remains unclear, it is thought to have moved to this site in 1937 from Venice.

Notable features of the home — elevated above a concrete slab that allows for air circulation underneath — include exposed rafter tails, an uncoursed stone chimney and low, horizontal lines.

In 1993, the entryway was redesigned and a garage was added. The original shutters were discovered in the attic during the same period and were repaired and re-hung.

The Lyle House and garage
2027 McClellan Parkway

This Mediterranean-revival style home, characterized by an asymmetrical floor plan, arched openings and ornamental detailing that incorporates iron and wood, was constructed in 1925 by Aurelia K. Lyle.

Although the present owners altered the floor plan during a renovation in 2001, the original architectural details were preserved. Today, the stucco wall surrounds the property, which features lush, tropical landscaping.

The McClellan Park Clubhouse/School
1700 Seminole Drive

The focal point of the McClellan Park subdivision was its clubhouse, built out of pecky cypress with a two-story piazza extending around the building. In 1923, sisters Katherine and Daisietta McClellan opened a tearoom there, and in 1933, the McClellan Park School opened in the clubhouse. By the mid-’50s, the school billed itself as the oldest, private elementary school in Sarasota.

What: Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation 21st annual Historic Homes Tour
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 6
Info: Call 953-8727 or visit
Cost: $20. Tickets may be purchased at Davidson Drugs, Historic Spanish Point, Sarasota Architectural Salvage, Sarasota County History Center, Main Street Traders and Sarasota Visitor Information Center. A trolley will be available to shuttle guests between houses.

View Historic Homes Tour in a larger map

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