Make Mine Modern

By Robert Plunket June 4, 2007



Family-friendly: a beautifully renovated Sarasota School house.


By Robery Plunket


Yesterday I finally got to see that Sarasota School house that Martie Lieberman is selling at 604 42nd St., and it was well worth the wait. It was designed by William Rupp, who worked with Rudolph back in the 1950s, and it is a classic example of Sarasota modern, beautifully renovated. It’s sort of like the Cohen House but not quite. While the Cohen House is one big glomp that you experience all at once, the 42nd St House is a series of surprises. You’re never quite sure what’s around the corner.


It’s one of the few Sarasota School houses that would work well for a family, as it has four bedrooms, plus a library, a special second floor den, and a formal dinning room. But as big as it is, it has a very intimate feeling. Cozy might be a better word. Many of the interior walls are wood, and the views out to the gardens are carefully framed. I saw it on a cloudy, rather gloomy day, and it still looked sensational.


I’ll say one thing for Martie. She pays attention to the details. Not only did she serve cookies, but they went with the house. They were flower-shaped, rather like something Andy Warhol would design. A perfect visual match. And she had the architect there. Sam Halladay from Siebert Architects was the guy who did the renovation, and he explained how he reconstructed one wing and changed certain things around. The asking price is $1,200,000.


Martie’s Web site, Modern Sarasota, has more pictures, plus an intriguing house in Kensington Park she’s selling. It’s one of those little ‘50s places that’s about 1,000 square feet, tiny but with good lines. Some British guys got a hold of it and whipped it into shape. Here’s your chance to get the Sarasota School look for $215,000. Wow—affordable, glamorous and historic. Who could ask for anything more? (Well, maybe another bedroom.)


By the way, the 42nd St house borders on that new development called the Houses of Indian Beach—23 houses, each one different, designed in the Sarasota school manner by Guy Peterson. They’ve just started construction. Check out the Web site.

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