Homes for sale in North Sarasota neighborhood rich with history

2022-09-10 00:21:43 By : Mr. Witt Zhang

Now a subdivision in the southern section of the Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores community, Bay Haven combines old-time Florida charm, beautiful natural surroundings, and great location. Only two miles north of Main Street in Sarasota, it has an illustrious history as well.

Platted in 1926, the neighborhood originally stretched east from Bayshore Road on the Sarasota Bay across Tamiami Trail all the way to Old Bradenton Road. Patterson Drive and Virginia Drive marked its northern and southern extent, respectively.

The developer, Walter V. Coleman, and his family came to Sarasota in 1923 from Detroit via Miami at the beginning of Florida land boom. After he became a successful Realtor – he had 26 agents working for him at some point – he and his partner, T.E. Ogden, laid out Bay Haven.

“It was quite progressive for its time, platted for single and multiple families (duplexes and triplexes), commercial real estate, and hospitality (hotels),” said David Jennings, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker, who lives near the area. “It was beautiful planning, with lots of curvature in the streets.”

Coleman also built the Bay Haven Hotel there, which was touted as “one of the city’s finest” in the Sarasota Herald at its opening in October of 1926. Bay Haven School in the middle of the community, designed in Mediterranean Revival style by architect M. Lee Elliott (he also did Southside Elementary), opened the same year. Its main building is now part of Bay Haven School of Basics Plus, Sarasota’s only elementary magnet school.

When the real estate bubble burst in early 1927, Coleman’s glorious vision for Bay Haven came to an end. Lots in the subdivision were not selling. The following year, Coleman was killed in a car crash and his wife took over the management of the hotel. In 1930, circus magnate John Ringling bought the property to house the John and Mable Ringling Junior College and School of Art. The building is now part of the Ringling School of Art and Design.

In time, the section of Bay Haven east of Tamiami Trail became absorbed into the Bayou Oaks neighborhood.

Today, Bay Haven is a quiet subdivision with homes dating from the 1940s on. Densely wooded with mature foliage, it has canopied streets and ample vegetation, creating a quaint, appealing old Florida atmosphere. One- and two-story houses feature eclectic architecture, including traditional ranch homes and bungalows. Some of the dwellings are quite unusual.

One at 2920 Bay Shore Circle, a two-bed, three-bath home with 1,457 square feet under air. Listed by Jennings and his business partner Ulrica Regnander, also a Realtor with Coldwell Banker, it is actually a main house and guest cottage with a large, functional studio. When it was built in 1940, it was the only home on the block and remained that way for some time.

The style is “organic modern,” a midcentury architecture movement that rejected mainstream designs in favor of natural shapes, natural materials, and adaptation to the surrounding natural environment. “The exterior is concrete block that has been stucco-faced and carved to look like stacked stones,” said Jennings. “The house seems to come right out of the ground.”

Two rumors concerning its origins, neither substantiated, attribute the home’s design to a student of Frank Lloyd Wright or a boatbuilder.

The interior is reminiscent of a Dutch houseboat, with teakwood, cypress, and black walnut finishes. The slanted tongue-in-groove ceilings have wooden beams. Clerestory windows provide plenty of light. There are brass pulls on the kitchen cabinets and Dutch doors with stained glass inserts. Vintage appliances and furnishings include an old farm sink and an antique Maytag range in the kitchen, and a free-standing, clubfooted tub in one of the bathrooms.

“The current owner kept it in good shape from an aesthetic perspective for 30 years,” said Jennings. “We’re making every effort to find a buyer who will preserve it.”

Residents of Bay Haven are an eclectic mix of professors, business owners, entrepreneurs, working people, families with children, artists and retirees. They all love the proximity to Ringling College and easy access to the Sarasota-Bradenton airport and downtown Sarasota. The district schools, Emma Booker Elementary, Booker Middle and Booker High, are all within a two-mile radius.

Many residents participate in the voluntary Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores neighborhood association. Dues of $30 a year pay for a quarterly newsletter, small festivals and meetings. “It’s a way for neighbors to get together and talk about issues like zoning codes and home values,” said Jennings.

Currently, there are five homes on the market in Bay Haven. Four range in price from $450,000 to $785,000 (Jennings’ and Renenaders’ listing). The fifth is a luxury home on the water, built in 1953, with an asking price of $3.685 million.