Panel to discuss hows and whys of Sarasota architecture



The Sarasota County Courthouse and Courthouse Center show the range of architectural styles expressed during the city's history. Staff photo / Harold Bubil; 10-21-2009.

The Sarasota County Courthouse and Courthouse Center show the range of architectural styles expressed during the city's history. Staff photo / Harold Bubil; 10-21-2009.

A panel of architecture experts convenes Tuesday, March 12 at 7 p.m. at The Crocker Memorial Church, 1260 12th St. to talk about how Sarasota came to look the way it does.

This interactive panel discussion is presented by the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

Admission is free to members and $10 for guests.

Florida Cracker, vernacular cottage, Mediterranean Revival, Sarasota School of Architecture are just some of the design styles that audience members will learn about when Herald-Tribune real estate editor and architecture writer Harold Bubil moderates a lively panel whose participants include the architects Carl Abbott, Frank Folsom Smith, Guy Peterson and Clifford Scholz.

For more information, call 364-9076 or visit the website

“Sarasota has always had important and imposing homes,”  said Bubil, “starting with The Acacias, the Edson Keith Mansion, the Ringling Palaces, Crosley Mansion, and the big ranch homes of the 1950s and 60s. Then we have the highrises of downtown and the advent of the new Med Rev homes over the past 30 years, as well as the recent trend toward West Indies design. Our panel will discuss the aesthetic influences that came to shape our city.”

Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune. A writer, editor, photographer and occasional tour guide, his beats include real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He loves all good architecture but owns a 1930 frame-vernacular cottage.

Carl Abbott opened his Sarasota architecture office in the 1960s after studying at Yale under Paul Rudolph. He has created a number of important modernist houses and institutional buildings in Sarasota, including the Women's Resource Center. A book of his work, IN/FORMED BY THE LAND is hot off the presses.

Frank Folsom Smith is a first-generation Sarasota school of architecture stalwart, and designed Sarasota's most prominent landmark, Plymouth Harbor, with Louis Schneider. Smith rejuvenated Burns Court, designed The Terrace condominium a few years before that, developed Conrad Beach and has designed dozens of stately houses.

Guy Peterson, a second-generation Sarasota school modernist, made a name for himself as the design architect for Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Emergency Care Center. He has created many dramatic houses on the barrier islands and also teaches at the University of Florida School of Architecture.

Clifford Scholz's name has been synonymous with high-end home design in Sarasota for two decades. He is often hired by mansion developers to create stately homes with strong Mediterranean and Caribbean influences, interpreting the dream architecture of the 1920s boom for a 21st-century market.

This architecture event at the Crocker Memorial Church is the sixth in a series of year-long panel discussions organized and produced by the Historical Society of Sarasota County with support from SARASOTA Magazine. Conversations at The Crocker events highlight specific aspects of Sarasota’s past and examine pivotal events and people who have influenced Sarasota today.  

All Conversations take place at The Crocker Memorial Church and proceeds from this panel discussion series help to maintain the Historical Society’s two heritage properties at Pioneer Park – the Bidwell-Wood House (1882, Sarasota’s oldest house) and the Crocker Memorial Church (1901). Docent-led tours of both buildings are available an hour before each of the Conversations at The Crocker events. Chairs of "Conversations at The Crocker" are Lynn Harding and Marsha Fottler. President of the Historical Society of Sarasota County is Howard Rosenthal.

The final "Conversations at The Crocker" for the season is April 9, A City of the Performing Arts with moderator Howard Millman. For additional information about Conversations at The Crocker, visit the Web site at: or call Linda Garcia, HSOSC site manager, at 364-9076.

Last modified: March 12, 2013
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.