Explore Venice History

Venice's Great 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”.

229-237 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 & Walters of Plant City. It was described as a “Spanish design” with stucco-covered hollow clay tile...

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225 W. Miami Avenue: The Teal Building

This building was constructed in 1926 by L. M. Teal. Its first tenants were the Teal Barber Ship 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...

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205 W. Venice Avenue: The Boissevain Building

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...

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221-223 W. Miami Avenue: The Wimmers Building

This building was constructed in 1926 and named for its first tenant H. N. “Bud” Wimmers. He was a Cleveland-born veteran of World War I who was the assistant cashier for Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) Cooperative National Bank in Cleveland, Ohio. He...

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201-207 W. Miami Avenue: The Green Building

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...

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201 W. Venice Avenue: The Schoolcraft Building

Completed 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. The...

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409 Granada – The Lord Family House

The Lord-Higel House is the oldest existing structure in South Sarasota County. It was built by Joseph H. Lord in 1896 and was originally located in a 90-acre citrus grove just south of Roberts Bay. Lord apparently lived in the house until 1905. About this time, Lord...

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519 S. Harbor Drive: Banyan House

This house was built in 1926 for Bob and Dorothy Marvin. Mr. Marvin was an engineer who managed the home department of The Venice Company, a subsidiary of the Brotherhood of Locomotive (BLE). The house was built of hollow red clay tile with a stucco finish. This...

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200-220 St. Augustine: The Hines Building

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...

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238 W. Tampa Avenue: Originally San Marco Hotel

This three-story, steel-reinforced, concrete block, stuccoed building was commissioned by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) as a 92 room hotel with 13 shops on the ground floor. It was completed in the fall of 1926 after only 90 days of construction at an...

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247 W. Venice Avenue

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 local representative of Walker and Gillette,...

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200 N. Nassau

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...

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South Nassau Street: 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...

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307 W. Venice Avenue

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...

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311 W. Venice Avenue

This two-story building was owned by Wm. 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...

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247-251 W. Venice Avenue: The Sanders Building

Originally intended to house a drug store, barbershop, haberdashery, and tearoom, this was the second commercial building constructed in Venice. H. S. Patterson, local representative of Walker and Gillette, described the front of the building as “decidedly a Venetian...

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351 South Nassau Street – Triangle Inn

This building was constructed in 1927 as a rooming house or inn. It was specifically designed to house a business. It was not designed as a single family house. It was built by Mrs. Augusta Miner who moved to Venice from Chicago where she ran a tea room. There is no...

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