This 1936 mansion on St Armands is one of the most elaborate—and expensive—historic homes in Sarasota. It was built by Charles Leigh, co-founder of the Lavoris Chemical Company, and remained in the family until 2001. It has since been substantially enlarged and updated, and today has virtually every amenity you could dream of.
Just to mention a few: 171 feet of water frontage overlooking the bay, elaborate tile, wood, mosaic and artwork, beamed ceilings, wrought iron grills and railings, an elevator, wine room, servants’ quarters, plus five bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths, and a spectacular Roman-style pool that’s 65 feet long. The house even has a whimsical name: Casa del Carnevale.
With more than 10,000 square feet of living space (about 7,000 of it under air), the house lives like a new home. The bathrooms are elaborate and state-of-the-art, as is the kitchen. Custom touches are everywhere (murals, mantel, tiles) and many have a circus theme.
There’s also a circus connection. Leigh’s daughter and son-in-law, Marian and Joe McKennon, lived here after her father’s death. Joe was a curator at the Ringling museum and a circus historian. Marian was an actress, sculptor, and marionette maker.
The home is being offered fully—or partially—furnished. And for all its grandeur, my favorite touch remains the whimsical stained glass awning over the front door.
139 S. Washington Drive is priced at $12.75 million. For more info call Lisa Rooks Morris of Premier Sotheby’s at (941) 544-3332.