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Reagin Residence

Buildings: Sarasota History

Source: City of Sarasota Public Records
Credit: Sarasota History Alive!
Location: 1213 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL

Sarasota History - Reagin Residence photo

The Reagin Residence and garage, at 1213 North Palm Avenue was built in 1926 in the Mediterranean Revival Style. The two-story house was designed by Thomas Reed Martin for L.D. Reagin, owner and editor of the Sarasota Times newspaper.

Mr. Reagin purchased the lot at 1213 North Palm Avenue from the Burns Realty Company in April of 1925. The lot abutted the First Street property site which became the home of the Sarasota Times newspaper which Reagin was at that time owner and editor. In the 1927-28 City Directory, Leslie D. Reagin was listed as the "Vice President of the Morris Plan Company of Sarasota, President of Sarasota Publishing Company, and owner, Sarasota Daily and Weekly Times with his home at 350 North Palm Avenue."

The Sarasota Times newspaper which was owned and edited for the first quarter of the twentieth century by Mr. and subsequently, Mrs. C.V.S. Wilson, was sold in 1923 to T.J. Campbell and J.H. Lord, who in turn sold the newspaper on March 27, 1924 to L.D. Reagin. In addition to the purchase of the Sarasota Times, Leslie D. Reagin commissioned the prominent architect, Dwight James Baum to construct a new office and press building for the Sarasota Times on what was then Seventh Street (now First Street), near Broadway (now North U.S. 41). The Sarasota Times went into receivership on Monday, December 9, 1929. After the folding of the paper, Leslie D. Reagin served as Postmaster of the City of Sarasota beginning in 1933 until his retirement July 31, 1945.

Ironically, the architectural attribution of the L.D. Reagin residence is supplied by an article entitled, "City Architect Attracts Statewide Attention" - which appeared in the Sarasota Herald newspaper. The residence was mentioned in the Herald article which was devoted to the work of the architect Thomas Reed Martin's architectural achievements. Based on the newspaper article, the L.D. Reagin residence was completed by September of 1926. The massing of number 1213 North Palm Avenue resembles Mr. Martin's earlier work in Burns Court. Several of the entrance blocks of the fifteen Burns Court bungalows resemble the flat-roofed and shaped parapet roof-line of the south elevation of 1213 North Palm Avenue. The design of the one-story south elevation is also reminiscent of Mr. Martin's "Floridian Architecture." Thomas Reed Martin popularized "Floridian architecture" with advertisements which appeared in the Sarasota Times in the 1920s. Advertising copy included: "Floridian architecture, a home designed to suit our climate and environment...All work is personally designed by myself. I build no duplicates." His one-story Spanish bungalow houses were particularly suited to the Florida climate and were advertised in, among other sources, the 1923-24 Sarasota City and County Directory. The massing of the one-story or entrance pavilions generated monumentality. The presence of porches and casement windows provided need cross-ventilation. The flat deck surfaces of the one-story entrance pavilion of 1213 afforded, one would suspect, sundecks, sunning having become popular in the 1920s, while the two-story elevation provided a view of Sarasota Bay overlooking the Owen Burns property located just south of the Reagin house. The second story elevation, in addition to providing a view, would have also allowed additional bay breezes from the west and south for the living quarters.

The L.D. Reagin Residence was historically designated by the City of Sarasota in 1984.