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Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte Counties were developed by numerous visionaries whose legacy lives on in our architecture, thoughtfully planned parks and city centers, and sense of community.

The legendary John Ringling, of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey fame, also made his mark as a dreamer and developer, not only bequeathing Sarasota with a celebrated art museum and magnificent Venentian-syle mansion, but influencing area architecture to follow.

Other developers of note, like Owen Burns, Bertha Palmer, Fred H. Albee, and John Hamilton Gillespie, have influenced how we live, work, and play.

The Sarasota School of Architecture is a mid-century modern movement indigenous to our region that resulted in highly innovative homes, currently studied and revered by architectural students the world over.

From Casey Key to Sarasota to Siesta Key, examples of this iconic style dot the landscape.

Today, the tradition continues in a new breed of architects and practitioners who remain faithful to the genre by embracing clarity of form and simplicity of structure as their guiding design principles.

Much of our area harkens to the period nostalgically referred to as “Old Florida” – a quieter, simpler time distinguished by a sense of place and authentic character. Imagine quaint streets of mom-and-pop shops mingled with pink beach bungalows, swaying palm trees, and vibrant-hued bicycles.

Island cottages filled with warmth and character celebrate the sea and salty air, each with their own story to tell.

While retaining their timeless charm, many of these homes have been carefully restored with modern conveniences.