The Palmer House

By Robert Plunket September 1, 2010



Well, I’m back. Yes, it’s been five months. It seems I was a walking time bomb and needed open-heart surgery. To all those of you who sent e-mails and cards, thank you. It was tough (you can read all about it in the September issue of Sarasota Magazine), and many times I was discouraged and unhappy. So what did I do to get through it? When even the pain pills stopped working? I closed my eyes and dreamed of real estate.



4423 Bay Shore Road


Like the Palmer House. Yes, it’s on the market, with the distinction of being the most expensive home currently listed for sale in Sarasota. (The former Gayed house right down the street is technically more, but it doesn’t have the option of an extra two acres of property thrown in.)


The Palmers sold the house several years ago to another socially prominent couple, but such is the mystique of their home and the lavish entertaining they did during the boom period that us old-timers will always think of it as the Palmer House.




It’s actually the remodel of an old estate that dates back to 1938. It you look carefully you can still see some of the old art deco detailing around the entrance. Inside it’s lavish in a way that you don’t see much anymore. It has a Cà d’Zan feeling to it. Custom details and craftsmanship are everywhere—check out the library ceiling, with its Gothic carving, and the elevator cage, the painted mural and the blue and gold mosaics that line the heated pool.



Living room.

The house was designed for entertaining, and it can easily handle hundreds at just about any type of event. It has an immense terrace facing the bay, with a loggia and “casino.” This is where Sarasota society congregated during the extravagant years at the turn of the century for the galas, fashion shows, dances, weddings, etc., that took place there. Just to give you an idea of the scale, the living room is over 40 feet long and two stories high. The kitchen is 38 feet long. Yet at the same time it has a homey feeling, full of nooks and crannies.

The entire estate of 3.2 acres is being sold in two parcels. The first, with the main house as described above, is on 1.6 acres. The second parcel has the guest house, a heliport, tennis court, dock, five-car garage, servants’ quarters, etc. The first parcel is priced at $9.9 million. For pricing on the other parcel or both of them together, contact the listing agents, Klaus Lang (941-383-7591) and Linda Dickinson (941-388-4447.)


Oh, and did I mention the private beach?


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