#8. 219-221 W. Venice Ave.: The Nickell Building

#8. 219-221 W. Venice Ave.: The Nickell Building

Originally the site of Blate’s of Venice Wearing Apparel, this building was constructed at a cost of $22,000. Later it housed Rice’s Nestlewood Shop. It had two stores on the main floor and four apartments on the second. It was designed by architect Guy Johnson and built by Carey and Walters, Inc. of Plant City. The Nickell Building was constructed of hollow clay blocks with a red barrel tile roof. 

Historical information provided by Venice Heritage, Inc.
Photographs provided by Venice Museum & Archives

#9. 225-231 W. Venice Ave.: Ennes Arcade

#9. 225-231 W. Venice Ave.: Ennes Arcade

The Ennes Arcade was completed in January 1927 at an estimated cost of $125,000. This building was owned by Stanton Ennes, the general manager of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) Realty Corporation. It was constructed of stucco-covered hollow tile and brick by the George E. Fuller Construction Company. Rather than the usual red barrel tile roof, this building had green roof tiles.

It was designed as two-story wings facing each other connected on the first floor by a roofed, open-ended arcade. The second floor housed a hotel originally called the Hotel Valencia, with each room facing an open porch. Seven stores, beside the hotel lobby and post office, occupied the first floor, with some opening directly onto the arcade. By July 1927, a newsstand, and an office of Florida Power & Light Company also occupied the building. The ventilated box-like structures on the roof were part of the original solar heating system.

Historical information provided by Venice Heritage, Inc.
Photographs provided by Venice Museum & Archives

#10. 247-251 W. Venice Avenue: The Saunders Building

#10. 247-251 W. Venice Avenue: The Saunders Building

Originally intended to house a drug store, barber shop, haberdashery, and tea room, this was the second commercial building constructed in Venice. The front of the building was described as “decidedly a Venetian design” by the local representative of Walker and Gillette, H. S. Patterson.

The building was designed by architect W. H. Schumaker of Tampa and constructed by the Barrett Construction Company of Tampa. According to an article in the July 10, 1926 edition of This Week In Venice, it was scheduled to be completed in 60 days. In the same article, owner G. E. Sanders stated that he wished to be the “first merchant of Venice.” By February 1927, advertisements in the Venice News indicated that the building was the home of the Rendezvous Tea Shop.

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

 

#11. 303-305 W. Venice Ave.: The Blackburn Building

#11. 303-305 W. Venice Ave.: The Blackburn Building

This two-story building was constructed in the fall of 1926 for $26,000. The ground floor was to house five stores with eight efficiency apartments on the second floor. It was designed by architect J.C. Humphrey of Sarasota in the Northern Italian Style architecture, with clay block walls and a red tile roof. J. Franklyn Wheeler of Fort Myers received the construction contract. One of the original tenants was a dentist, Dr. George Gilman Wheeler.

#12. 307 W. Venice Avenue: The Estes Building

#12. 307 W. Venice Avenue: The Estes Building

This was one of several buildings owned by Mr. Estes in Venice. Construction of this building was started in September 1926. By 1927, it was the home of Venice Stationary Company, Meare’s Men’s Shop, and the construction firm of Latimer and Lee.

During the 1940s, it was the home of the Venice Gondolier, and a radio and TV store. Since TVs were not common during this time period, the store owner had a “public” TV in the window. A bench on the sidewalk facing the store window allowed those without a TV at home to relax and view programs during the evening hours. By the 1960s, radio station WAMR had a studio on the second floor.

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

#13. 311 W. Venice Avenue: The Mohler Building

#13. 311 W. Venice Avenue: The Mohler Building

This two-story building was owned by William E. Mohler and originally housed the Woolard Furniture Company and the J. T. Hardware Company. As was common during the 1920s, there were rental apartments on the second floor.

Social notes in the Venice News chronicled the arrival of winter residents from as far away as Ontario, Canada to rent these apartments. The second floor façade clearly shows the raised stucco relief that defined the “Northern Italian” architectural theme for the city. Later this building housed the Venice Electric Supply Company and the Venice Tile Company.

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

#14. South Nassau St.: The Sawyer Building

#14. South Nassau St.: The Sawyer Building

During the second half of 1926, Harold W. Sawyer had this two-sided building constructed for an estimated cost of $20,000 to house his grocery and meat market. Besides the two store-fronts on the first floor, there were eight offices on the second floor. The Woodroffe Investment Company and the building firm of Clark and Stevens occupied two of the second floor offices. In 1934, the building was purchased by the First Baptist Church and by 1936 had been enlarged.

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

#15. 229-237 W. Miami Avenue: The Lawton Building

#15. 229-237 W. Miami Avenue: The Lawton Building

In October 1926, Mrs. Louis L. Lawton announced the construction of this building at a cost of $15,000. It was designed by architect Harrison Gill and built by Carey & Walter of Plant City. It was described as a “Spanish design” with stucco-covered hollow clay tile walls. The exterior façade has not been altered since it was constructed. According to newspaper ads, it was originally the home of Venetian Dry Cleaners. Business must have been good, because by May 1927 the owner Pat Gudger was installing new cleaning and pressing equipment.

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

#16. 225 W. Miami Avenue: The Teal Building

#16. 225 W. Miami Avenue: The Teal Building

This building was constructed in 1926 by L. M. Teal. Its first tenants were the Teal Barber Shop and the Venice Billiard Hall.

In the 1930s, it was used as an elementary school. In 1946, the Stancil and Potts Garage occupied the building (probably in the rear). In 1950, the building was purchased by the Robarts-Shannon Funeral Home of Sarasota. The building was to be converted into a “modern funeral establishment and ambulance service.” The announcement went on to state that “we also believe that the Venice-Englewood area is due for substantial growth in the near future and we want to do our part in furthering that growth.” It was, later, the site of the Rawles Funeral Home. In the late 1980s it was remodeled for retail uses and has had various tenants over the years.

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