Good news for anyone who’s ogled that splendidly restored Spanish Revival residence on the National Register of Historic Places at the corner of Indian Beach Drive and Bay Shore Road. The original Taylor-Whitfield House—now named Splendida by its new owners—is one of five homes on the 27th annual Historic Homes Tour sponsored by the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation.
The tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 5 and includes four other homes, too, all within walking distance of each other.
Between 800 and a thousand people usually participate in the Historic Homes Tours, and Alliance president and local interior designer Joyce Hart expects this one to be especially popular. “Indian Beach overall probably has the largest area of older homes” of different vintages in Sarasota, says Hart. “People never get tired of seeing that neighborhood because it’s beautifully mixed.”
“If we don’t preserve these old houses, we’ll look like we’re living in Fort Lauderdale,” says Hart. “This is history. It’s like going to any museum and seeing master artworks. They were master architects and builders who created these homes.”
Next door to Splendida at 2716 Bay Shore Road, the Coleman House—a Mission-style house from the 1920s that was last year’s Jewels on the Bay Designer Showhouse—will be open for viewing. “It’s decorated differently by the owner now, and has a whole different vibe,” says Hart.
A 1925 clapboard vernacular house at 3008 Bay Shore Road is the third home. “It’s a charming little old house that’s been added onto very nicely in the clapboard style” with a new second story, says Hart. Tour-goers can admire the original wood floors and original flagstone fireplace. Plus, it has a beautiful landscaped yard not visible from the street.
Around the corner on Virginia Drive is the fourth home, a 1941 original Ralph Twitchell that was added onto in 2009 in the Sarasota School style.
And the fifth home is the Roehr Estate at the corner of Virginia Drive and Bay Shore Circle, a Mediterranean home from 1925-’26 that received historic designation from the city of Sarasota.