- March 6, 2015
It’s hard not to admire the homes while traveling down Gulf of Mexico Drive, but once a year, the Longboat Key Garden Club gives Longboat Key residents and visitors the chance to admire these homes from the inside. The annual Longboat Key Garden Club Home Tour, which benefits the club’s grant and scholarship funds, is quickly approaching. This year, four homes will welcome visitors with open doors. Before the big event on March 4, we previewed each home and its unique style.
Howard Rooks Home
In Howard Rooks’ kitchen hangs a painting of a party scene. A man is playing a saxophone, a woman plays the piano and people are dancing in the background. In a way, it depicts an unexpected aspect of Rooks’ home. It’s a good party house, but he didn’t plan it that way.
The painting itself is one Rooks said “makes you go, ‘Oh, let’s have a party.’”
The layout of Rooks’ home is one that would avail itself to such an endeavor. To the right of the entrance is a billiards room that leads out to the courtyard and pool. His kitchen is complete with an inside grill and deep fryer. He has a rooftop deck with a fireplace, and a hot tub sits outside of his office. However, his house is one he has filled with paintings of his grandchildren and art from friends and artists around the country. He even added a small desk upstairs with a computer for his grandchildren.
Rooks had the home built for himself and has lived there for the past 10 years. It has four bedrooms, and is almost 5,000 square feet. It’s located at 246 Morningside Drive in Lido Shores, three blocks from the Gulf of Mexico.