Warm Mineral Springs, a loving look


A speaker at the Docomomo-US architectural symposium is giving an ode to Warm Mineral Springs, its hotel, the sculpture of the bathing ladies by Tamiami Trail, the in-your-face WARM MINERAL SPRINGS arrow sign, the mysterious building on the road to the springs that has the same "parasol" roof of the Victor Lundy-designed hotel, the springs' welcome center, the gift shop, the Cyclorama celebrating Ponce de Leon and the "Fountain of Youth," the breezeways and other rooms, then ... the springs!

This woman, Jifat Windmiller, an architect, is so soft-spoken, and such a good photographer, that she is showing the spring and its campus in an entirely new way. It is delightful.

She describes the bathers: "Women in all kinds of hats; men having a business meeting, in Russian."

She points out that Sarasota County and the city of North Port recently bought the property, but don't have a clue as to the value of the property, particularly the architecture on the site. "In fact, they don't know what to do with it, and it is set to be closed in two months. I am not a political person, but my advice to them is, 'Get over it guys, you need to figure out what to do with this.' "

Drawing inspiration from the successful MiMo (Miami Modern) preservation movement, she proposes a new one: NoPoMo -- North Port Modern.

I am amused.

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: April 20, 2013
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