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".

247-251 W. Venice Avenue: The Sanders Building

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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 design”. The building was designed by architect W. H. Schmaker 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, the owner G.E. Sanders stated that he wished to be the “first merchant of Venice”. By February 1927, advertisements in the local paper indicated the building was the home of the Rendezvous Tea Shop.

 Today: Shirt Shop, Bresler’s Ice Cream and Treasurers in Time.


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


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