Walking Tour | Architectural Gems of Lido Shores in Sarasota

Arts & Culture, Destinations, U.S.A., Wellness

Sarasota, Florida is known for some incredible modern architecture, so much so that their very own nationally-recognized regional style of architecture was born. It’s known as the “Sarasota School of Architecture” – and sometimes referred to as “Sarasota Modern” – and much of it is in the Lido Shores neighborhood of Sarasota, where my in-laws happen to live.

Primarily built from the 1940s to the 1970s, Sarasota School of Architecture is characterized by its adaptation of modern architecture to the Florida climate, so hallmarks of the style are large sunshades, natural ventilation systems, full height sliding glass doors and single-depth floorpans without corridors.

This weekend, we did a self-guided walking tour of Lido Shores and saw many of these characteristics firsthand. What was really interesting was seeing the old vs. the new, meaning seeing some of the original homes, many of which have been updated over the years, side-by-side with brand new modern homes. Here are photos of some of my favorite homes!

// OLD //

And my favorite, the Umbrella House, built in 1953. Per the walking tour brochure:

Philip Hiss, developer of Lido Shores, commissioned Paul Rudolph to design a speculative house that would “attract attention from the road and in the architectural journals.” The high shade roof (umbrella) simple cube house, and sheltered swimming pool create a striking visual and spatial composition. Though the umbrella is gone, the refined box with its breeze-catching jalousie windows and spatially complex interior is a symbol of the regional modernism that inspired Sarasota culture in the 1950s.ย 

// NEW //

Curious to learn more about Sarasota architecture? Visit the Sarasota Architectural Foundation here. From that site, you may download a map of all the homes in the areaย as well as a PDF of the walking tour map I used.ย 

Happy WANDERing!

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