Ca' d'Zan - the bay front facade of the living room on the western elevation and marble terrace
|Architectural style||Venetian Gothic revival|
|Part of||Caples'-Ringlings' Estates Historic District (#82001039)|
|Designated CP||December 15, 1982|
Ca' d'Zan, a Mediterranean Revival residence in Sarasota, Florida, was the winter home of the American circus owner, developer and art collector John Ringling and his wife Mable. Lovers of the Venetian aesthetic, the Ringlings chose the site overlooking Sarasota Bay for its vista, which reminded them of the lagoon of their favorite city. The name of the residence is Venetian for House of John. The Ringlings had been renting the residence of Mary Louise and Charles N. Thompson on their extensive Shell Beach parcel, and decided to purchase some of the land to build a permanent winter headquarters that would include a residence on the bay and a museum for their extensive art and artifact collection. An art school was planned to abut the museum, but it never was built. Mable's rose garden was the first completed portion of the complex. On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter placed Ca d'Zan, the Residence of John and Mable Ringling on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.
Architectural details of the house reflect influences ranging from the Venetian Doge's Palace to the tower of the first Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Items collected by the couple during their international travels were featured in the residence.
The design of the residence was commissioned from New York architect Dwight James Baum in 1924 and it was built by the Sarasota developer, Owen Burns. The work was completed in 1926, as the Florida boom collapsed and the bank failures that would lead to the crash of 1929 began. The original cost to build the home was $1.6 million. Adjusting for inflation, that converts to approximately $21 million in 2013 dollars.
In 1982, the residence was listed as a contributing property to the Caples'-Ringlings' Estates Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Other contributing properties in the district include the Ellen and Ralph Caples residence, the John and Mable Ringling Museum, the Hester Ringling Lancaster Sandford residence and the Edith and Charles Ringling residence.
The residence was restored in 2002 under the direction of Bill Puig. Most details of the original construction and decoration were restored faithfully except some of the interior color schemes.
- George Hess (15 June 2008). Best in Class. iUniverse. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-595-90058-9. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
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- "AIA Florida Top 100 Buildings". Aiaflatop100.org. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
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- The original cost was mentioned by a docent during a tour of the home.
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