Buildings: Sarasota History
Built in approximately 1925 or earlier, the Selby Apartments, located at 535 South Palm Avenue is an important example of the Mediterranean Revival Style of architecture and quality craftsmanship of the 1920s.
Remaining intact are its original double-hung sash windows and barrel clay tile roof, except over the garage area. Engaged Corinthian columns between graceful arched openings and the side door cartouche which breaks the side rectangular fašade are ornamental details which add to its significance. The exterior surface is rough cast on hollow clay tile, tropically set between two Canary Island date palm trees near the bay front.
The Selby Apartments were built in 1925 by William Gifford Selby. The most prominent element associated with the structure is that it was built and owned for approximately 21 years by Mr. Selby.
William and his father were the owners of one of the country's first principal oil drilling firms. William, after his father's death, later went on to take full control of Selby Oil Company and merged to form what is now known as Texaco. He was also a major shareholder in Standard Oil of New Jersey and California.
Selby died on December 4, 1956, leaving an estate in excess of $10,000,000, half of which was allocated to the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation. This foundation has put numerous brilliant and needy students through school and continues to do so to this day. It is also a major contributor of money, buildings, research centers, etc. encompassing the entire United States. The Selbys, in a very unpretentious way, have managed to contribute a self-perpetuating foundation that will continue to benefit our county into the distant future. This historic building, built during the 1920s Boom Time is a significant link to our rich heritage and adds to the uniqueness of our city in may ways, and also importantly reflects the nature of the great Selby family.