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Markers: Sarasota History

Location: Groveland Ave. & Country Club Way, Venice, FL

Sarasota History - Edgewood photo

In 1925, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE), a labor union based in Cleveland, Ohio, purchased land to create the city of Venice. The BLE hired city planner John Nolen to complete the city design which he had already begun for the land's previous owner, Dr. Fred Albee.

Nolen, a leader in the city planning movement in the first quarter of the 20th Century, integrated the physical, social, economic, and political facets to create a cohesive whole in his design for Venice. He platted the Edgewood Section to provide lots less costly than those in other sections of Venice. Edgewood consisted of 16 blocks east of the railroad tracks and the industrial area, and included Groveland, Myrtle, and Pineland Avenues.

Most of the lots in Edgewood were 50 feet wide by 150 feet deep and ranged in price from $850 to $1,600. The houses varied from simple one-story wood frame front-gable cottages (vernacular construction) to one-story poured concrete Mediterranean Revival (Spanish Eclectic) houses with flat roofs and parapeted walls. Edgewood also had a cluster of bungalow style houses.

The Edgewood Section was initially outside the corporate limits of Venice. After 75% of the area property owners petitioned for inclusion in the city, the Venice City Council passed an ordinance in January 1927 and authorized the city's first annexation.

By 1928, over 100 homes had been built in the Edgewood Section, with most constructed on speculation. J.E. Lambie, of Cleveland, Ohio, built the most unusual houses in Edgewood. He had perfected the lamolithic system of building houses with poured concrete walls. Eight of these houses can be found on the north side of Groveland Avenue between Country Club Parkway and School Street.

In its original design, Edgewood lacked a park, a feature which John Nolen frequently included in his residential areas. The city of Venice provided this missing element when it created Mundy Park in 1943 on land given by Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Mundy for this purpose.

In 1989, 32 houses in the Edgewood Section were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Edgewood Historic District.

Dedicated in 1999 by the  Sarasota County Historical Archives

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