Into the woods

The Allen Treehouse Is a Hidden Gem in Arlington Park, and It's on the Market for $2.2 Million

The three-bedroom, four-bathroom home has plenty of Old Florida charm.

By Kim Doleatto March 29, 2024

The home is located at 2613 Temple St.

Lots of Old Florida style has been cleared to make room for new boxy, white homes in recent years. And that’s especially true in Arlington Park, just south of downtown Sarasota. But one Temple Street home with timeless charm is here to stay, and it's on the market for just under $2.2 million.

Some of the wooden beams are repurposed pine telephone poles.

The home is hidden in the trees and tough to spot in the strollable area just next to the sprawling park for which Arlington is named. At the nearest junction, a street sign warns of a dead end, but what’s there instead is the entryway to the Allen Treehouse, named after the local architect Richard G. Allen, who co-founded Architura and designed it for his family. He lived there from when it was built in 1997 to 2014, the year Dori and Alan Zingmond bought it for $540,000.

The home has an open floor concept.

Similar to the ethos of the Sarasota School of Architecture, a signature midcentury modern style that considers the physical location and context of an address in its design, the lines between inside and out here are blurred, with lots of glass for natural light and organic wood details. Other Sarasota School design elements include broad overhangs for shade and the careful placement of windows with air circulation in mind.

The main space has soaring ceilings.

Allen, now 90, began practicing architecture in the mid-1970s and is best known for his civic projects. He designed the State College of Florida campus in Venice, Sarasota Middle School and Booker Middle School. In 1993, his firm (named Richard G. Allen Architects, Inc. at the time) received the James D. MacConnell Award for the State College project. Although he's not among the original members of the Sarasota School, the firm took a similar "form follows function" approach. Allen's son—who is named after him but goes by the name Skip, says Dori—is also an architect and lives next door in a similar abode that's also an Allen design.

Greenery fills every view.

Among the wood details, there's a wraparound balcony and soaring spaces. Tibetan teak wood gates open to a walkway overlooking a pond and a waterfall. From the ground level, stairs lead to a screened deck and private pool surrounded by greenery. Inside, some of the interior columns are former telephone poles. The pond is self-filling, and mature plants of all varieties cushion the home from the outside world. "It’s almost strange to know you’re five minutes from downtown,” Dori, 65, says.

Tibetan doors.
Dining and seating areas.

“From all the windows, you see all green," Dori says. "It feels like a treehouse." Outside the pond, “We see all kinds of birds and get turtles," she adds. "They have a little path they made to travel between Arlington Park. We see all kinds of ducks, rabbits, squirrels and raccoons. We get owls, too."

The home was designed by local architect Richard G. Allen.

Dori and Alan, who's 78, moved to Arlington Park after living on the beach on Manasota Key for 10 years following their relocation from New York City. 

“At first, I thought it would be nice to live on the beach, but in the city is better," Dori says. "During high season, your two-minute drive becomes 20. Then you have the hurricanes and evacuations. Even if it's nothing big, it’s something when you’re waterfront."

The pond is home to ducks and turtles.

In New York, Alan was a clothing manufacturer and Dori was a fashion designer. They lived in Tribeca, which, once known for industrial warehouses, morphed into a destination for loft-style apartments. When looking to move off of Manasota Key, Dori was initially captivated by the home's built-in library, and quickly filled it after moving in. Now, though, with the couple's son Cooper in college, the home's 3,308 square feet on more than .3 acres is “a lot of house," she says.

The built-in library.

“I want less stuff," she says. "You get to a certain age and you realize, 'I don't need all this.' We’re thinking a condo next, but we’re staying local." As for her library, she admits they need to purge and that her Kindle is more efficient. 

“But we'll have to have a few bookshelves wherever we move to,” she says.

The home has three bedrooms and four bathrooms. There’s a lower-level suite with a separate entry that can be a studio or bedroom. Although it’s technically a two-story home, there's a crow’s nest, where you can set up a workspace and marvel at the treetops. 

An intimate, screened-in pool.
One of three bedrooms.

The Zingmonds' realtor, Dianne Anderson of Compass Realty, says many people who visit the property say they had no idea the home existed. "It's very much like a secret immersed in nature," she says. "You're just in the trees."

The home at dusk.

Although the home isn't historically designated and could technically face the same fate as so many other homes that have been razed and built on top of, “I don't envision creating a different home on this property," Anderson says. "It's the combination of detail and artistry, as well as being in the tree tops, that exudes the charm that really defines this home."

Interested? Contact Dianne Anderson of Compass Realty at (941) 350-3513.

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