A Downtown Treasure

By Robert Plunket December 9, 2009

A historic Sarasota residence—at a historic price.


By Robert Plunket


Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discuss this Oak Street gem on ABC7.


Today’s house is a “perfect storm” – in a good way. Few houses in town have its combination of history, location, style, and price. When people talk about the once-in-a- lifetime deals to be had in the current market, 1855 Oak Street is exactly what they mean.


1855 Oak St.


History: designed by Thomas Reed Martin as his personal residence, 1855 Oak epitomizes the Spanish revival style of the s that set the tone for Sarasota’s boom years. Martin was the most prominent local architect of his time. He also worked on the other landmarks of the era – the Ca d’Zan, the Courthouse, etc. And the house was built by Owen Burns, the builder who developed Burns Court and the El Vernona Hotel.


Location: On Oak between Osprey and 301, the house sits on the best, most picturesque street in Laurel Park, with a median of Washingtonian palms running down the middle. It is surrounded by other great old houses from the same era, yet it remains the best. Laurel Park is an eclectic neighborhood, and that is part of its charm. It has new infill houses that are very luxurious, next to little cottages rented by artists and young people. Downtown and the bayfront are a short walk away. It has cul de sacs and alleyways that remind you of Key West. All in all, it’s probably the hippest neighborhood in town.



Style: What sets this house apart is its spectacular, spare-no-expense renovation. It has new windows and doors – top of the line, and perfect matches for their antique counterparts. It has its original heart of pine floors, beautifully refinished. There’s a state of the art Ray Routh kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances. Curved and arched doorways. New custom baths; the master bath has a sunken, walk-down tub. There’s a lap pool tucked onto the side, with a waterfall.




There is a large living room with a fireplace and Murano glass chandelier, a formal dinning room plus an informal one (could be a family room), master suite on the ground floor, second bedroom and bath upstairs, and a guesthouse/office/third bedroom – plus bath – out by the pool. Also, a two car garage and several fenced and enclosed patios.



Price: originally listed at well over a million, 1855 Oak is now priced at $829,000. If you’re considering any sort of luxury property downtown – condo or house – you should take a look. Call Lisa Skirball at 941-685-8480.
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