Sarasota is Special

What Makes Sarasota So Very Special? Story 9 of 12

We’re highlighting some very interesting historical places including Sarasota’s Civic Center and Theatre Arts District. We all love Sarasota, no doubt; now, learning about the fascinating architecture and landmarks will make our piece of paradise even more special. Check-in next week for more Sarasota history! We hope you enjoy the tour!

These wonderful snippets were given to us by Paul Thorpe (Mr. Downtown) who died in the summer of 2017. He left an amazing legacy of love for family, friends and his beloved Sarasota home and we miss him.

Sarasota Times Building

Designed by Dwight James Baum, a prolific architect of the 1920’s, the Times Building was the home of Sarasota’s first newspaper dating from 1899. In the mid 20’s, the newspaper provided citizens play-by-play coverage of the World Series. A radio connected to a series of loud speakers mounted on the terraces drew a massive crowd of sports fans. The paper folded in 1929 when advertising revenues dropped drastically. The building was home to various companies including a fruit packer that made and sold guava jelly. It is now restored and has been used as a restaurant with a rooftop bar that overlooks the city.

Roth Cigar Factory

The cigar manufacturing industry came to Sarasota in 1911 as a “little brother” to the City of Tampa. Edward and Michael Roth, residents of Sarasota since 1913, acquired this property and in 1922 completed this Mission Revival Style building to house their cigar business. They made cigars here and sold them throughout Southwest Florida, both wholesale and retail. The building was used for that purpose until 1929 when the Depression forced the business to shut down. After 1938, the cigar business in the community was history. Today the building houses LeRoy Wilks Design Studio.

Sarasota Garden Club

Established in 1927, the Sarasota Garden Club maintained the landscaping at the Municipal Auditorium and the Sarasota Art Center long before it opened its own building in 1960. The Sarasota Garden Club building was designed in the Modern style by architect John Cromwell and contained a Japanese shoji enclosed garden. Three sides of the building were constructed of glass and shaded by wide roof overhangs. In 1962, architect Bert Brosmith design a Japanese garden house to store the club’s gardening tools.

Photos courtesy Sarasota History Alive website.

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