These Old Houses

By Robert Plunket March 12, 2007

Three grande dames  in Whitfield.


By Robert Plunket



          If you like great old houses, you’re probably already familiar with Whitfield. It has some of the best in town. Yesterday I took a look at three currently on the market.


          7714 Westmoreland is a big 2,500-square-foot 1950s extravaganza, a sort of watered-down Sarasota School style, not quite pure enough for the purists but with plenty of great features. With just a little work you can turn it into the perfect setting for your collection of modernist furniture. The living room and dining room are grand and enormous, with 12-foot ceilings, and there are three large bedrooms. But what I liked best were the bathrooms, with their original tile and built-ins. The master bath is particularly fine. It’s tiled in black, something you never see, but it glitters and shines in a very dramatic way. You can almost picture Linda Darnell primping in front of the mirror. Jennifer Garrabant at Michael Saunders is the lister. (941) 228- 3554. $559,000, reduced from $699,000.

Living Room at 7714 Westmoreland


          Next comes 7331 Westmoreland. I’ve had my eye on this house for years, and it’s finally come on the market. True, it wasn’t technically “open” yesterday but that never stops me from peeking in the windows. Guess what? It’s even better than I hoped. It’s got five bedrooms, and an enormous low-slung living room looking out on the pool. The landscaping and overall effect is very Beverly Hills circa 1964. It’s the perfect house for a decorator. At $995,000 it’s a little pricey for Whitfield, but it comes with a buildable lot, which is now a gorgeous extension of the garden. (There’s a similar lot down the street for sale for $225,000.) Dyrk Dahl at Coldwell Banker is handling it. (941) 320-7373.

7331 Westmoreland


          And finally, 7219 Broughton is on the market. It’s one of the great houses of Sarasota, designed by Ralph Twitchell in 1926 and on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the interior is original, with a beautifully weathered black and red tile floor in the living room. Wonderful details are everywhere – a lot of pecky cypress, two Juliet balconies, the original mantle and hallway chandelier. There’s also a pool, butterfly garden, and several of the most picturesque oak trees in Sarasota. It’s being sold by the owner: (941) 321-5461. $995,000, reduced from $1.1 million. This is what Spanish Med is imitating, folks, and it shows that the original is still the best.

7219 Broughton


          The big problem with Whitfield is, of course, the airport. It’s in the flight path. My advice? Forget about it. After two days you won’t even notice it. It’s a blessing, really, since it keeps Whitfield’s wonderful houses affordable for us peasants.
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