Vintage Sarasota: Longboat Ritz-Carlton

Vintage photograph featuring the unfinished Longboat Ritz-Carlton Hotel

By Chelsey Lucas December 11, 2013

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Longboat Ritz-Carlton (n.d.) Never seeing completion, the Ritz-Carlton on Longboat Key was an idea conceived by John Ringling in early 1926. After assembling a team of New York contractors and builders, Ringling gave the deadline for opening day as December 15, 1926. Unfortunately, due to personal and national economic crisis during the Great Depression, construction halted just one month before the scheduled completion date. Ringling poured an estimated $650,000 into the unfinished hotel and was never able to see the project through. Following Ringling’s death in 1936, Martin Sweeney of New York expressed interest in finishing the hotel, but the plan failed to materialize. After changing hands several more times over the decades, the incomplete building was finally demolished in 1964. Standing in this location currently is the Longboat Key Club Resort. -- Chelsey Lucas

Photo courtesy of the Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources.

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