This week’s home is one you’ve driven by many times and no doubt remember because of the distinctive New Orleans-style wrought iron trim that decorates its Colonial exterior. I remember homes like this when I was a kid; you could see one or two in every Southern neighborhood.
Now it’s on the market and I’m learning about its history. It was originally owned by the Williams family, Mr. Williams being the prominent local attorney who founded the law firm of Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz and Getzen. (The home was built in 1925, the same year the firm was opened.) The current owner is Jan Chester, development director of Planned Parenthood.
It’s a great old upper-middle-class home that retains many of its original features. Part of its charm is the various remodeling that has gone on over the years. One of the large living rooms has a fireplace and refined molding and detailing. The other seems to be a more contemporary addition, but has magnificent 12-foot ceilings and lots of big windows looking out onto the jungle-ish yard. The staircase is pure “farmhouse” and the master bath—the master is located on the ground floor—is an exuberant 1970s blue and white extravaganza.
The place needs work. In fact, it’s being sold for its land value alone. But what a project it would make for the right person. It’s big—3,000 square feet, with four bedrooms and three baths—and has so much personality—several different personalities, if truth be told—that you could really let your imagination soar. Everywhere you look are surprises. I was most taken with the little storage cubby holes that seem to be everywhere.
The large lot has several spectacular banyan trees, and the house to the rear is also for sale. This means you could buy both and have an acre lot to build a new estate-sized property in one of the best neighborhoods in town. I fear this is what will happen and another piece of Sarasota’s architectural and social history will be lost. But you never know. With any luck some one will bring it back to life, hopefully with the New Orleans wrought iron intact.
2138 McClellan Parkway is priced at $895,000. For more information, call Susan McLeod of Michael Saunders and Company at (941) 928-4445.