Buildings: Sarasota History
The Cornish Apartments were completed in late 1925 by Andrew Cornish, a successful local Realtor, as two duplex structures with a separate multiple-bay garage at the rear of the site. The two mirror-image structures are located at 1641 and 1647 Loma Linda Street in the Seminole Heights Subdivision. Seminole Heights and adjacent Bungalow Hill contain many different types of bungalows built during this time period. Seminole Heights had been incorporated as a separate town by state legislators on May 22, 1917. In November of 1925, the Greater Sarasota Charter was signed and Sarasota had expanded to take in Seminole Heights.
Leadley Ogden was the builder of this duplex and the construction cost $25,000. Ogden was an important developer in Sarasota in 1925. "Ogden, noted for his large scale operations and averaging three starts per day, advertised the quality of his product: Builders of ‘The Home Beautiful' whether it be the Small Style Bungalow or the more elaborate Estate Work."" According to an architectural rendering done in 1925, Clare O. Hosmer was the architect. Mr. Hosmer was a successful architect from Chicago who designed several buildings in Sarasota during the 1920s.
Several recognizable Sarasotans have been tenants in the apartments over the years including Harrison Barringer, an early Sarasota attorney and in the 1920s, William Stockbridge, father of longtime Sarasota Herald-Tribune writer, Dorothy Stockbridge. Mr. Stockbridge had a celery farm and cattle ranch and owned considerable land in Sarasota and Carlton Teate, Sr., the builder of the Frances Carlton Apartments in the mid-to-late 1930s.
Another not so illustrious tenant in the 1980s decided to rob a drive-in teller on his motorcycle at a local bank and was later apprehended. The 1945 City Directory also indicates that in 1945 a tenant, Marion Spencer, resided in one of the buildings and operated an antiques business out of her apartment.
Andrew and Kirsten (Kay) Cornish
Mr. Cornish was originally from Chicago and attended the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania. When he first came to Sarasota he operated a radio repair shop and had the first Frigidaire franchise in Sarasota. Later, he became a successful local Realtor.
Cornish did considerable building in the city during the early 1920s and was one of the prominent Real Estate men. He once owned the Brookside Subdivision, selling it to C.L. Richardson. His father, Frederick W. Cornish, had come to Sarasota in 1914 from Chicago and purchased and operated a grove on the future subdivision site. Later, the subdivision returned to family ownership and was sold again to Herb Booth who lived there for many years.
Mrs. Cornish was originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. After Mr. Cornish's death in 1930, she joined the Army Corp of Engineers and first served in Jacksonville, Florida, then in Brazil and finally retired for the rest of her life to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the home of one of her daughters.