Videos: Sarasota History
Southside School opened its doors to 170 students January 11, 1926, one of several schools built in Sarasota County's land boom of the 1920s. These schools included two richly ornamented Mediterranean Revival style elementary schools along the new Tamiami Trail, Southside and Bay Haven. They were inspired by Italian and Spanish Renaissance architecture, and both were the work of Tampa architect M. Leo Elliott, who also designed the Gothic Revival style Sarasota High School. Southside featured open hallways around an interior courtyard, a barrel tile roof, and separate arched portals to boys' and girls' playgrounds. On opening day, Southside School was located south of the city limits in the center of what was called "South Side School Subdivision" created in 1925 by the Board of Public Instruction.