Thomas Reed Martin
Thomas Reed Martin (born April 28, 1866 in Menasha, Wisconsin - died February 1949) was an architect who was brought to Florida by one of its major developers during the turn of the twentieth century. He designed some 500 residences and various public and private buildings in Sarasota, as well as commercial buildings. His Florida buildings are located from Tampa to Fort Myers with many in Nokomis.
He drew the original sketches for the home of Mable and John Ringling, but the design by Dwight James Baum was selected by Mable Ringling and built by Owen Burns after Martin declined a fee reduction proposed by John Ringling.
Martin was the son of William Davidson Martin and Myra Martin. His family was part of the construction business for generations.
Martin was first employed as a draftsman with Global Machinery Co. in Chicago. He apprenticed with the architectural firm of Holabird and Roche in Chicago. At that firm, Martin met wealthy Chicago socialite and art patron, Bertha Palmer, the widow of Chicago real estate developer Potter Palmer.
Palmer commissioned Holabird and Roche to design her large winter home in Sarasota. Sketches for the house bear Martin's trademark signature. She soon would become one of the largest landholders in Florida and she also became renown for her real estate developments and the introduction of revolutionary agricultural and ranching practices in Florida.
At the age of forty-four, Martin came to the Sarasota area from Chicago to work for Palmer in the fall of 1910. He was joined by his wife and children in 1911. He set up his own practice, which flourished throughout the Florida land boom of the 1920s. Among the five hundred homes Martin designed in the Sarasota area, are many "Floridian" style homes use glass block and formed concrete embellished with Mediterranean Revival features.
In the 1930s he and his son, Clarence, were the architects for the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. It was a federal economic stimulus project.
Some Florida designs
- William J. Burns House on South Washington Boulevard, St. Armands Key, in Sarasota (NRHP listed)
- Case House, South Washington Boulevard, in Sarasota (NRHP listed)
- Columbia Restaurant, in Tampa
- Lemon Bay Woman's Club
- Hacienda Hotel, in New Port Richey
- Roth Cigar Factory, in Sarasota (NRHP listed)
- Municipal Auditorium (sometimes identified as Sarasota Exhibition Hall) with Clarence A. Martin, a 1930s Works Progress Administration, in Sarasota (NRHP listed)
- Pages - www.scgov.net
- Rylee, Whit and Tom Payne, Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar, Today in 1866, as quoted in Sarasota History Alive!, April 28, 2010, page one of newsletter, including an image of Martin from the Sarasota County History Center
- Bubil, Harold, Thomas Reed Martin, and enduring architecture, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Saturday, October 5, 2013
- Mikki Hartig Architect Thomas Reed Martin and Sarasota June 18, 2011 Sarasota Herald Tribune - a reference that is cited as bearing many inaccuracies (see comments following article), but possibly corrected in this article by the elimination of them in 2012 by the staff writer on the topic
- Great Floridians, State Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of Historical Resources, [dead link]