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Explore Venice History

Although many buildings in the downtown area look old, only those constructed during the 1920’s have been included in this tour. In 1987 the city recognized the need to continue the architectural character of the original city and established the Architectural Review Board. The downtown area is part of the Historic Venice District administered by this Board. Any new construction or modifications to the exterior façade of a building in this district must conform to guidelines established by this Board. These standards will ensure the continuation of the “Northern Italian Renaissance” style of architecture within the city. Because of these efforts, the City of Venice will continue to be the beautiful "City on the Gulf".

140 W. Tampa Avenue: Originally The orange Blossom Garage

140 Tampa2

This building was originally constructed to house a gasoline filling station, car storage garage, and five storefront shops. It was completedin the summer of 1927. Advertisements in the Venice News, the local paper, state that it housed the repair shop and the Sinclair Gasoline & Oil station of J. Harris Jones.

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200 N. Nassau

200 N Nassau 4

The Hotel Venice was the first building constructed by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) in Venice in 1926. This 3-story, wood-frame building, designed in the Italian Renaissance style had 100 luxurious rooms. In 1984 it was restored and now serves as a retirement community.

Historical documentation provided by:
Venice Heritage Inc.
Photographs provided by:
Venice Museum & Archives

200-220 St. Augustine: The Hines Building

220 St. Augustine  By the fall of 1927, Ira A. Hines had constructed this office and apartment building for an estimated cost of $22,000. Mr. Hines, described as “noted architect,” designed and built this structure for use as a “tea room and combination gift shop, antique room, drug store, beauty parlor, ladies shop, and tonsorial parlors.”

Prentiss French, the landscape architect hired by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) to supervise plantings within the city, designed the landscape plan for this structure. The fountain, while a recent addition, was described in French’s original landscape plan along with the sidewalks radiating from it. None of the plants described in the plan have survived.

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201 W. Venice Avenue: The Schoolcraft Building

201 W Venice Avenue The Schoolcraft Building CopyCompleted in October 1926 for an estimated cost of $45,000, this building was to have five shops on the first floor and apartments on the second. The housing market was so limited in the new city that five apartments were rented before the building was completed.

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201-207 W. Miami Avenue: The Green Building

201 07 W Miami Ave

Thomas Green of St. Petersburg constructed this building in 1926 for $85,000. Designed by the architectural firm of French and Gill, this stucco-covered clay tile and brick building had ten apartments, five stores, four offices, and a automotive repair station at the eastern end of the first floor.

The building was modeled after the famous “Flat Iron” building in New York City and its architectural style was described as Spanish. Because of its unique shape, it was also known as the Triangle Building. Before the building was even completed, space was also leased to a hardware store, and a sporting goods store. Tom Green’s Electrical Shop and the Tom Green Spray Paint Shop also occupied this building.

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205 W. Venice Avenue: The Boissevain Building

205 W Venice Ave 2

This was the first commercial building constructed in Venice. It was completed in August 1926 and built of hollow clay tile and brick with steel reinforcing beams.

It housed two retail stores on the first floor and several offices on the second floor. The original first floor tenants were the Dawson Furniture Company and the Venice Hardware Company. The offices of Venice’s first newspaper the Venice News, a weekly publication, were also located in this building.

 

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