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Videos: Sarasota History

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Mira Mar Apartments

Sarasota, in the 1920's, was a city caught up in the great Florida Land Boom. Every time you opened the paper real estate prices were creeping up, and fortunes seemed ready to be made. You had just one small problem. In order to get the well-to-do to invest, you needed to turn this city into a resort vacation destination.

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Our Vision for "The Bay"

Supporting historic preservation is something we all need to participate in, especially since so many important homes and buildings are rapidly being demolished to make way for high rises.

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Owen Burns

Host Lee Gaines takes you on a journey of how this remarkable man managed to develop land, build the Ringling Causeway, Ca'd'Zan, Burns Court, the Herald Square Building, the El Vernona Hotel (later known as John Ringling Towers), Burns Realty (later the home of Karl Bickel), downtown seawalls, and substantial homes prior to the Great Depression.

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Payne Park

Payne Park was host to many of Major League Baseball's most renowned figures from 1924, when the reigning champion of New York Giants of the National League opened spring training, until 1988, when the Chicago White Sox of the American League played their last spring game. The stadium was torn down in 1990.

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Rigby's LaPlaza

Harry Ben Rigby platted out his La Plaza Subdivision in 1925, and completed his unique enclave of Spanish Eclectic structures in 1926. They were perfect for him to house his family, and his Sarasota Real Estate Exchange office in their home, on the corner of Alta Vista and Osprey Avenue.

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Rosemary Cemetery

Rosemary Cemetery is burial place for many early Sarasota citizens, civic leaders, and entrepreneurs including Scotsman John Hamilton Gillespie, first mayor and local manager for Florida Mortgage & Investment Co., British land developers of the municipality. The cemetery was set aside in plat "Town of Sarasota", filed on July 27, 1886.

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Sarasota Times Building

The Times was founded in 1899 by CVS Wilson and his wife Rose. The original Times building was located at 241 Main Street. After Mr. Wilson's death in 1910, Rose continued to publish the paper.

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Smack Restaurant

Today, at the corner of Osprey Avenue and Main Street, the Sun Trust Bank rises above where once stood Sarasota's favorite drive-in burger spot; the Smack Restaurant.

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