Great Sarasota Home Tours

By Robert Plunket March 3, 2010

Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discuss these tours on ABC7.

This is the time of year when Sarasota goes all out with its various home tours. That means you – for a very nominal fee that goes to charity – can become what is known as a “lookie-loo” – snooping around somebody’s else house, or a glamorous decorator show house, just for the sheer pleasure of it, without having to pretend you’re going to buy something.

The one not to miss is the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation Home Tour, with five older homes in the Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores neighborhood open this Sunday, March 7, from 11 to 5. The cost is $20. This tour is an annual tradition among the town’s architecture and preservation crowd, and one of the things I like best is meeting them in full force.

Here’s a quick look at three of the homes on the tour.




4451 Charles Lane


This is one of the famous Sears Roebuck kit houses that were sold by the thousands during the early part of the 1900s.You sent Sears a couple of thousand dollars and you got back a house on a railroad car, which you then assembled from simplified blueprints. Over 70,000 were sold. This particular example is Dutch Colonial and is thought to date from 1909. It was built by an early winter resident from Connecticut and moved several blocks to its present location in 1995. Sears houses are an important part of Americana; don’t miss this opportunity to study a beautifully renovated one in person.


5030 Bay Shore Road


One of the grand old homes of Sarasota, this Spanish house epitomizes the town in the 1920s during the land boom and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. It’s big and grand and in excellent condition. It was a runner-up in SarasotaMagazine’s 10 Prettiest Homes competition. It’s also the only home on the tour that’s currently for sale.


567 45th St.


Imagine how rustic Sarasota must have been back in 1924, when this semi-craftsman bungalow was built on a great big lot. This one is really a trip back in time. The previous owners kept chickens in the yard, and the current owners have recreated the kitchen in a rural farmhouse style from the 1930s. Check out the three fireplaces and the 100-year-old pecan floors.

You can join the tour at any of the participating houses, and they will have a trolley to take you around. Call 941-953-8727 for more info.

And the following Sunday, March 14, from 11to 4, we jump forward several decades for the Sarasota Modern Home Tour, with houses from the modern period, starting with the Sarasota School in the 1950s up til the present day. Tickets are only $5 and benefit Habitat for Humanity.




Here’s an example of what you’re going to see: the beautiful Rupp house, from 1960. (This one, plus several others on the tour, are currently for sale.) For more information call 941-724-1118 or [email protected].

Finally, don’t forget the Sarasota Orchestra Designer Showcase at Legends Bay in El Conquistador, which end this Sunday, March 7. Golf champ Paula Creamer’s big new house, decorated with inspiration provided by tropical cocktails.

And the Parade of Homes ends the same day. Thirty builders models, mostly in Lakewood Ranch.

And keep March 27 and 28 open for ASID’s Designer Digs – decorators’ own homes. More on this later.

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