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A downtown property owner wants to donate the sandstone pillar to the city. It could be placed in Five Points Park.
Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013 4 years ago

Historical column seeks home in park

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The city of Sarasota has received an application donation for a Corinthian column gifted to Sarasota in the 1980s. The column commemorates the relationship between Sarasota and Glasgow, Scotland.

Chris Brown, a property investor who owns the land on which the column sits, suggested in his application to the city that the column be relocated to Five Points Park.

According to a memo from City Manager Tom Barwin, Five Points is believed to be the location at or near which the city of Sarasota was originally settled.

The column, which came from a church in Glasgow, was given to community representatives on the 100th anniversary of Sarasota’s settlement.

The plaque that accompanies the column marks Dec. 28, 1885, as the date when 65 Glasgow Scots first settled in the city of Sarasota.

Currently, the column sits at 1400 Main St., located at the southeast corner of the Five Points roundabout. Brown acquired the property on which the column sits in May. He thinks the monument may have been sitting on the property for the past 30 years.

How a gift so public in nature came to be placed on private property is a question to which Barwin says he’s still seeking the answer.

Barwin said the area of the sidewalk near the intersection is traditionally reserved for the public, but that the land on which the column sits is fenced off as if it were private property. He said the city will move forward with the application process while looking for a new home for the column.

Although the city has yet to accept the donation, Brown said his interactions with city officials regarding the column have been positive.

“I’m sure it’ll be put to good use where people can enjoy it,” said Brown.

No specific location in Five Points Park has been targeted, and Brown is open to other locations if a suitable spot cannot be found in the park. Barwin said the potential placement of two other sculptures in Five Points Park could affect the city’s decision.

The donation will be considered at the Parks, Recreation and Environmental Protection Board meeting today. Barwin believes as the application travels through committee the history of the column will become clearer.

“Those committees are populated with individuals who have been active in the city for years, so I expect that to be part of the information that’s gathered during the short review process,” Barwin said.

Contact David Conway at [email protected]

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