This Week Newsletter - June 9, 2008

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Sarasota History Alive! Where history happens every day.

This Week

People keep asking us what it was like growing up in Sarasota. Well, it was like living in paradise. With that said, a lot of favorite spots are now gone physically, but are not forgotten. So, we decided to give our viewers some insight from a "Then & Now" perspective. Hope you enjoy this from time to time. This week, Lee is going take you on a journey back to the 1930s when the famous "Smack" drive in restaurant was the most popular spot in town. Click on the link to see what's there today.

If you missed last week's webisode on the 1921 Hurricane or want to browse through our video archive, click the link below to catch up on what you've missed.

Video archive

Society of Florida Archivists 25th Anniversary Meeting

The Society of Florida Archivists - Bradenton & Sarasota -June 4-6, 2008 - The 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Florida Archivists was held with the theme of The Future of Archives. This all-important topic affects many people througout the state, including Sarasota History Alive!; afterall, we are indebted to historians and archivists for our content.

Some of the topics discussed in the three-day conference covered a variety of matters, including: The Tallahassee Oral History Project, Strategies for Hard Times, Archivists and Genealogiists-Partners for Research, and Restoration of the 1912 Cortez Schoolhouse. We at Sarasota History Alive! wish them all the best for the next 25 years, and the necessary funding to keep their resources and critical contributions available to all of us.

Where Am I?

I am not the Liberty Bell, that's for sure. The building I am attached to was named after our major developer, Owen Burns' mother. In the late 1930s, Ringling Brothers Circus performers staged the premiere of their new shows on the grounds where I reside to raise money for a good cause. You see me or hear me alot. Need help? Click here or on the photo for my location.

Sarasota News - History in the Making

Dowtown Sarasota Historic District - Sarasota, Florida - April 8, 2008 - Progress was made by qualifying and applying for National Register of Historic Places recognition of downtown Sarasota as a historic district. ACI Consultants drafted the application for this notable honor and submitted their findings to the City of Sarasota Preservation Board. From there it goes to the Florida State Division of Historical Resources for their approval, and then finally onto to the National Park Service, which oversees National Register designations.

Representatives Trish Slovinac, and Marion Almy of ACI were on hand to do a presentation and thanked numerous participants for their outstanding assistance, including: Dr. Clifford Smith, Lorrie Muldowney, Mikki Hartig, Dr. Shriver, and Tony Sousa. It takes an extraordinary amount of research and time to meet the requirements of the National Register.

The Downtown Sarasota Historic District is a collection of commercial buildings constructed between (circa) 1909 and 1959. It represents the historic commercial core of the City of Sarasota. The district, which is centered on Main Street, consists of 60 buildings, of which 49 contribute as a historical resource in order to qualify the entire area as being historic.

The contributing resources represent a wide variety of architectural styles including Art Deco, Art Moderne, Commercial Modern, Masonry Vernacular, Mediterranean Revival, with subtypes that include Italian Renaissance and Mission, Neoclassical and Neoclassical Revival, and Sarasota School of Architecture.

In addition, six of the contributing buildings are listed already individually in the National Register of Historic Places: the American National Bank Building @ 1330 Main Street, the Kress Building @ 1442 Main Street, Worth's Block @ 1490 Main Street, the DeMarcay Hotel @ 27 South Palm Avenue, the Roth Cigar Factory @ 30 Mira Mar Court, and the Edwards Theater (Sarasota Opera House) @ 61 North Pineapple Avenue.

In 2006, the idea to designate the downtown as a historic district was spearheaded by Tony Sousa, (former) President of the Downtown Partnership, and Ernie Ritz, President of the Downtown Merchants Association.

Sarasota History Alive! looks forward to keeping you updated on the progress of the application; the designation is estimated to hopefully be awarded sometime in 2009.


Next week, we will begin to explain the difference of architectural styles that make up Sarasota's look, and evolvement over time. Architects play a vital role in how we value our sense of place. -Editor-


Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Every day of the year we highlight what took place in Sarasota's history, thanks to Whit Rylee and Tom Payne's extensive research and sense of humor. Frequently check our website's homepage to find out what occured today.

For example, today, in 1916, in a great step forward for the "modern" housewife, the Sarasota Ice & Power Company initiated the first electrical ironing service by turning on day-time power for four hours, two mornings a week. There's no doubt that every progressive housewife in town was by the iron every Tuesday and Friday at 7:00 a.m. The more you know...

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