Bubil: Wright, Ringling, Calatrava and more


The Ringling’s Ron McCarty, astute at finding ways to promote John Ringling’s Sarasota legacy, is scheduling a lecture sponsored by the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Ringling College of Art and Design.

McCarty’s focus is on John Ringling as visionary.

“He planned the art school with Southern College (now Florida Southern College) back in 1931,” McCarty said. “He dissolved the partnership only two years later, making the school a non-profit. He found a way to start the school during the Great Depression and still achieved getting it opened.

“My goal is to always tell of John Ringling’s achievements for this great city.”

The lecture will focus on the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings at Florida Southern College, which is preparing for a major restoration project. The event will feature a slide show of the structures and details of his work.

“I wanted the lecture here because of the Van Wezel’s connection with Frank Lloyd Wright,” McCarty said.

Wright’s son-in-law and first apprentice, William Wesley Peters of Taliesin Associated Architects of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, designed the VW in the late 1960s.


My recent story on Santiago Calatrava’s new Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) building at Florida Polytechnic University (Architectural Landmark, Aug. 24) brought this interesting reader response:

“The higher-education Mafia is exercising its clout by conning Florida taxpayers to spend huge money on a garish monstrosity while ignoring a user-friendly facility to encourage students’ learning.”

— Barry Burdick, North Port

Getting older?

Speaking of Frank Lloyd Wright, you know you’re getting older when a newspaper article mentions him (see page 8) and the author of the article feels compelled to explain who he was:

“(Kengo) Kuma, an admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, a pioneering American architect known for cherishing nature and people in his designs, at times uses interlocking wooden frames, defining a building’s shape with a collage of angles that seem to change organically.”

Well, Wright did, indeed, pass away in 1959 — 55 years ago.


Five of the seven projects designed by Sarasota architectural firms that received design awards from the American Institute of Architects’ Florida/Caribbean chapter at its recent Miami convention have been the subjects of feature stories in the Herald-Tribune.

Both Guy Peterson’s Spencer House and Sweet Sparkman’s county beach pavilions received coverage on page 1-A, as did the “Origins” exhibit by Sweet Sparkman Architects.

Oh, that sounds like bragging. Excuse me.

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: October 2, 2014
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