Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Venice

Explore Beautiful Buildings

THE TOUR
Step back in time and enjoy exploring the many beautiful historic buildings in downtown Venice! This walking tour features buildings in the historic district that were constructed in the 1920s. For a printed walking tour brochure, please visit the Venice MainStreet office at 101 W. Venice Ave. Suite 23 or stop by the information kiosk in Centennial Park (staffed by volunteers from November to April, Mondays through Saturdays, 10:00am to 2:00pm). Historical information for this tour was provided by Venice Heritage Inc. Photographs were provided by the Venice Museum & Archives. To learn more about the history of Venice, click HERE.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION
In 1987 the City of Venice 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.”

#1. 200 N. Nassau St.: The Hotel Venice

#1. 200 N. Nassau St.: The Hotel Venice

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...

read more
#2. 238 W. Tampa Avenue: San Marco Hotel

#2. 238 W. Tampa Avenue: San Marco Hotel

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

read more
#3. 200-220 St. Augustine Ave.: The Hines Building

#3. 200-220 St. Augustine Ave.: 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...

read more
#5. 201 W. Venice Avenue: The Schoolcraft Building

#5. 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...

read more
#6. 205 W. Venice Avenue: The Boissevain Building

#6. 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...

read more
#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...

read more
#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...

read more
#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...

read more
#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,...

read more
#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...

read more
#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...

read more
#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...

read more
#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...

read more
#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...

read more
#17. 221-223 W. Miami Avenue: The Wimmers Building

#17. 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. Wimmers...

read more
#19. 303 E. Venice Ave.: Venice Train Depot

#19. 303 E. Venice Ave.: Venice Train Depot

The depot was constructed in 1927 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) at a cost of $47,500 in the Mediterranean Revival style of hollow clay blocks with stucco finish. The 400 foot x 50 foot station was framed of heavy timber hewn at the Brotherhood's...

read more
#20. 409 Granada Ave.: The Lord-Higel House

#20. 409 Granada Ave.: The Lord-Higel 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. Originally built for his own use, Lord turned the house over to his...

read more
#21. 519 S. Harbor Drive: The Banyan House

#21. 519 S. Harbor Drive: The Banyan House

The Banyan House was built in 1927 as a six bedroom, five bath home in the Northern Italian architectural style for Robert and Dorothy Marvin. Mr. Marvin was an engineer who managed the home department of The Venice Company, a subsidiary of the Brotherhood of...

read more