Arcadian Delights

By Robert Plunket October 27, 2009

President Obama’s visit to Sarasota’s little neighbor got me thinking about Arcadia real estate.


By Robert Plunket


When President Obama visits Arcadia today (Tues., Oct 27) I hope he gets a chance to look at some real estate. The media is describing the town as dusty, isolated, tiny, poor, and conservative. What they’re not pointing out is that 100 years ago Arcadia was one of the largest cities in the state, and the remains of its boom – cattle and citrus – can be seen in the old mansions that dot the town’s historic center. It’s got a collection of residential architecture unique in Florida. And best of all, some of it’s for sale.



Let’s start with this beauty at the corner of Oak and Lee, which was built in 1892 and now sits picturesquely forlorn. It would make a good set for a Tennessee Williams play. I’m not sure what you call this style (Queen Anne?) but it seems to be in pretty good shape. I’ve seen pictures of the interior and it looks good. I really couldn’t judge how much of it is original but there did seem to be a tremendous amount of wood paneling. It’s got 2,656 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and sits on over half an acre. The price? $349,000. Call Century 21 at 800-576-0584.



Just east on Oak at Osceola is this rare shingle-style house, built in 1908. Yes, that color is black, which seems an odd choice in Florida. But I suppose that could be changed back to the more conventional brown. It’s got 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and a hefty 3,358 square feet. Again, a lot of wood paneling inside, plus very large rooms, and a pool. The lot is .66 acres and nicely maintained. It’s priced at $545,000, which just goes to show that Arcadia has a highly developed sense of its own worth and they are not giving these places away.



If you find the big houses intimidating, there are plenty of cottages, some under $100,000. This is one of the fancier ones, built in 1942 and priced at $277,000, but all gussied up and ready to move into. (It’s located on Oak between Osceola and Pasco.) It’s got 3 bedrooms and 4 baths, a fancy modern kitchen, and a pool. Call Williamson Realty at 863-494-9009.


Can you buy one of these places and commute to Sarasota? Almost. From Clark and Cattleman it’s about a half hour drive. I don’t know anybody who does it, but I do know several people who have second homes in Arcadia. They report that it’s more sophisticated than you might think. Check out this beauty owned by an extended family in Sarasota who uses it on weekends. It’s reputed to be the oldest house in DeSoto County – but not for sale, unfortunately.






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