If you’re thinking of one of those pricey new condos downtown, think again. Why not one of the oldest?

The Frances Carlton, midway between Florida Studio Theatre and the Ritz-Carlton, is Sarasota’s oldest apartment building and still one of its most beautiful. It was built back in 1928 by Alex Browning, a local boy credited with being the town’s first architect. And while most of the units are small—around 675 square feet and awkwardly laid out—several of the units are a decent size and loaded with historic charm.

Unit 201 has two bedrooms and one bath in 1,125 square feet. It’s been nicely updated, with a relatively new kitchen and bath. The hardwood floors are original. You won’t find an elevator but it’s only one flight up. The shapes of the rooms are a trifle eccentric but that only makes it more interesting.

The Frances Carlton’s signature feature is the beautiful sun rooms. They make great offices, with windows (paned and arched) on three sides, and could, in a pinch, be used as a guest room. This unit has an additional sun room in front, a tiny triangular space where you could just fit a small desk or an easy chair. You kind of wonder what was going on in Mr. Browning’s mind when he designed it. Anyway, as impractical as it is, it makes the apartment.

The building has a pool and secured parking. The location is incredible and the charm factor is off the charts. It’s one of the prettiest buildings downtown, period—a Sarasota classic.

1221 N. Palm Ave., #201 is listed at $359,900. For more info, call Bill McCue of Bright Realty at (941) 376-2455.

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