Atomic Ranch

By Robert Plunket July 30, 2008

Back to the ’50s.


By Robert Plunket


The Sarasota School wasn’t the only architectural movement flourishing in town back in the 1950s and early ’60s. There was another style that was just as popular and—in retrospect—a little more fun. Today it goes by many names (retro, atomic ranch, mid-century modern) and there’s very little of it left.


But there is one house that just came on the market that epitomizes the look: 1665 Siesta Drive. To me it’s much more Fort Lauderdale than Sarasota. It’s a little bit wacky, yet it strives for elegance and glamour. It looks like the set of Where The Boys Are, or maybe an episode of I Dream of Jeannie.



1655 Siesta Drive


This house has been in the same family since it was built and is remarkable for all its original features, including the original kitchen and baths—one pink, one turquoise. There’s also a sunken living room, an atrium enclosed in a sort of abstract pattern wrought iron, and my favorite touch of all, one of those front doors with the knob right in the center.





From top: Living room, atrium and door detail.


It’s a pretty good size, three bedrooms and a den/lanai, plus a pool that was added in 1991. It’s in good shape, but you’ll want to do some landscaping and glamorize the pool area. But the potential for showing off your ’50s collectibles and vintage modern furniture is unsurpassed. Also great: the location. You’re 10 minutes from downtown, and you can walk to the Key, to Paradise Plaza, and to Barnes and Noble.


In most other towns this house would be snapped up and lovingly restored by some hip young professional. Let’s hope that happens to this one.


They’re asking $325,000. The listing agent is Frank Goerdes at (941) 228-9583.
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