Few homes in Sarasota have the architectural or social pedigree of this beauty in Lido Shores. Designed in 1985 by Carl Abbott, it was the home of Saul and Florence Putterman. Florence was a well-known artist, with paintings in major museums all over the country. She had impeccable taste. Saul was a lovable curmudgeon. Their home in Pennsylvania was also by a famous architect, Hugh Jacobsen. Abbott, of course, was the youngest member of the famous Sarasota School of Architecture and is the only one still practicing today.
The location is right in the middle of the Sarasota School’s birthplace, Lido Shores. The Putterman home is quite a bit more complex than the early 1950s homes that created the style, but there’s a strong family resemblance. Abbott is famous for placing his structures so that they seem to echo the land they sit on. He spends much of the planning process figuring out the best views and orientation. In this home, every room has a slightly different view. Most of them look out on a long view of Pansy Bayou. Back in the old days, it’s where John Ringling kept his manatees.
The Puttermans bought the house thinking it might be a Paul Rudolph original, but a phone call to Rudolph confirmed that it was not, giving Abbott a free hand to replace it with an entirely new design. The home’s most notable feature is an enormous deck that opens southward over a long view of the water. It was tricky getting permission from the city to construct out over the lagoon. But the deck meets all the requirements for a dock and was thus allowed.
The Puttermans used this space for many of their famous parties. It can hold hundreds of guests and it became the perfect spot for arts events, particularly those connected with the town’s architectural scene. Inside the house, the glass walls give it an indoor-outdoor feeling. Carefully thought-out details are everywhere. Check out how the marble flooring in the living room is designed to complement the wood decking so it appears to be one long expanse.
Here’s a video of Carl giving a tour of the home for the Sarasota Architectural Foundation.
Florence died recently, but her spirit can still be felt. The carvings on the front door are her design and the courtyard it opens onto held some of her sculptures. (No sculptures were placed on the deck; the view spoke for itself and needed no competition.) And perhaps the most notable room is Florence’s painting studio, with its 13-foot ceilings and walls of glass. It holds all sorts of possibilities for the new owner.
And a new owner there soon will be. 220 Morningside Drive was listed as “pending” in less than a week. The listing agent was Betsy de Manio of Coldwell Banker. The listing price was $4.5 million.