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3 Must-See Sarasota Historical Sites

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If you love history, you can find many things in Sarasota related to the region’s history. Native Americans populated the area before pioneers came to settle in. The place has been incorporated as a city back in the year 1902. You will certainly find yourself surrounded by rich history when exploring Sarasota. Here are 3 must-see Sarasota historical sites:

Ca’d’Zan/Ringling Campus

The Ringlings decided to build a home in Sarasota after being traveling for nearly 25 years throughout Europe. They admired the architectural style of the Grunwald Hotel, Ca’ d’Oro, and Venice’s Ducal Palace.

The Ringlings made Sarasota Bay their Grand Canal and took these palazzi as their inspiration. Being among America’s wealthiest couples, they hired Dwight James Baum, the famous New York architect, to design the Ca’ d’Zan residence. They started to build the home in 1924. The Ca’ d’Zan residence was completed in 1926 at the sum of $1.5 million.

The house covers 36,000 square-foot, sitting on a waterfront site 3,000 feet deep and 1,000 feet long. It has a full basement and it is five stories tall. It is built from brick, concrete and terra cotta “T” blocks, embellished with glazed tile and covered with terra cotta and stucco. Balustrades, decorative tile medallions, and ornamental cresting highlight the stucco and terra cotta exterior. Today, the Ca’ d’Zan mansion remains one of the biggest architectural treasures in the United States.

St. Armand’s Circle

St. Armand’s Circle is located on St. Armand’s Key, an island in Sarasota Bay that is part of the city of Sarasota. The John Ringling Causeway connects the mainland to the island. The St. Armand’s Key property was purchased in 1917 by John Ringling, a famous Circus magnate. He developed the property with residential lots and a shopping center built in a circle.

St. Armands Circle is a large roundabout that features in the center a small park. Today, the area is still largely commercial, including over 130 stores and restaurants. The place is particularly famous for its fudge, homemade chocolate, and ice-cream shops. It contains many tobacco shops, clothing stores, and restaurants. The Circle also features works originally purchased by John Ringling displayed on a statue walk.

The Unconditional Surrender Statue 

Several sculptures by Seward Johnson make a series called the Unconditional Surrender are resemble a photograph called V–J day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt. However, according to Johnson, the sculptures are based on a less well known, similar photograph by Victor Jorgensen. The original statue was installed first in Sarasota. Other versions have been installed in Normandy, France, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Hamilton, New Jersey.

The artist first used computer technology to build a life-size precursor made of bronze to the bigger statues. Back in 2005, a 25-foot tall styrofoam version was part of a temporary exhibition at the Sarasota’s bay front. An aluminum version was later created.

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