Hard to believe, but from 1950 to 1960, the population of Venice boomed from 727 to 3,444. These newcomers had to live somewhere, and home builders like the Cowan Construction Company rose to meet the challenge. Ted Cowan built simple three-bedroom, one-bath homes and lots for $9,995 at $10 down and $25 a month in then-newly developing Venice East, a community located at the time just outside the city proper in unincorporated “Greater Venice.” Cowan went on to build affordable houses in South Gate and Gulf Gate in Sarasota, and in Bird Bay in Venice, and later three condominium communities on Siesta Key. The great midcentury Sarasota photographer Joseph Janney Steinmetz captured this image.

 

 

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