Sarasota School of Architecture

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Riverview High School, Sarasota, Florida (Paul Rudolph, 1958; demolished, 2009)

The Sarasota School of Architecture, sometimes called Sarasota Modern, is a regional style of post-war architecture that emerged on Florida's Central West Coast, in and around the city of Sarasota, Florida. Many of the architects who pioneered this style became world-renowned later in their careers, and several significant buildings remain in Sarasota today.


The Sarasota School of Architecture is characterized by its adaption of modern architecture to the Florida climate. Large sunshades, natural ventilation systems, full-height sliding glass doors, single-depth floor plans (no corridors), and walls of jalousie windows dominate many of these buildings, mostly built between 1941 and 1966.

Paul Rudolph, Ralph Twitchell, William Rupp, Victor Lundy, Jack West, Gene Leedy, Carl Abbott and Mark Hampton are the leading names of this regional style. The recent renovations of his Yale Art and Architecture Building by Rudolph was well received. In Sarasota, Rudolph designed a number of houses, schools, and public facilities. His Sanderling Beach Club is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and Riverview High School was nominated for the list of America's Most Endangered Places, although the high school has since been demolished.

Sarasota School buildings can best be seen on the islands of Siesta Key and Lido Key, particularly the neighborhood of Lido Shores where Rudolph's Umbrella House[1] sits alongside other important Sarasota School houses. Other designs include Jack West's Sarasota City Hall and houses in a number of older neighborhoods. An expansion of Sarasota High School in 1960 featured a Rudolph-designed building, recently renovated by the Sarasota County School Board.



  • Bettendorf, Elizabeth. "Tour Lets You Drive on the Modern Side." St. Petersburg Times, Fla., June 1, 2007.
  • Howey, John. The Sarasota School of Architecture, 1941-1966. MIT Press, 1995.
  • Szenasy, Susan. What We Value, Two Lessons in Historic Modernism: What Will We Learn From Them? Metropolis Magazine, November 2006. [1].
  • Weaving, Andrew. Sarasota Modern. Rizzoli, 2006.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hochstim, Jan. "Florida Modern." Rizzoli International Publications, 2005.
  • Howey, John. "The Sarasota School of Architecture." The MIT Press, 1995.
  • Weaving, Andrew. Sarasota Modern. Rizzoli, 2006.

External links[edit]