• Home
  • What To Do
  • Explore Venice History

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".

213, 215, 217 W. Venice Avenue: The Sarasota Bronx Building

2131517 W Venice Ave


 Originally constructed as a two-story building occupying three lots, it has been divided in half with each side assigned a different parcel-id by the Sarasota County Property Appraiser. Both sides currently have the same owner.

Alterations to the street façade have obscured the architectural details (windows and doors) of the original structure. Aerial photos from the 1920s and sidewalk photos from the 1950s show large, two-story arched windows across the front of the building.

The building was originally the location of the Shaw Dry Goods store and is, therefore, sometimes referred to as the Shaw Building. Before the construction of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in 1939, the building housed the Episcopal mission. It has been used as a library, site of Venetian Cleaners, and a hardware store.

Continue Reading

221-223 W. Miami Avenue: The Wimmers Building

221 23 W Miami Ave

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.

Continue Reading

229-237 Miami Avenue: The Lawton Building

229 37 W Miami Ave

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 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.

This building was completed in January 1927 for an estimated cost of $125,000. It was owned by Stanton Ennes, the general manager of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) Realty Corporation.

Continue Reading

238 W. Tampa Avenue: Originally San Marco Hotel

238 W Tampa Ave 3 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 estimated cost of $300,000.

Continue Reading

247 W. Venice Avenue

247 51 W Venice Ave 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, H. S. Patterson.

Continue Reading


Click Here to Read Past Issues of the Venice MainStreet Newsletter

VisitFlorida Logo

Our Platinum Partners

The Venice Company
Freedom Boat Club
Ehrhart Family Foundation