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20151006_Sarasota_0040 The Ringling | by Dan Lundberg
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20151006_Sarasota_0040 The Ringling

The atrium-like Court in the center of Ca' d'Zan immediately off the entrance foyer and leading to the marble terrace on the bay was the primary entertainment space. The crystal chandelier came from the original Waldorf-Astoria in New York which was razed in 1929 to make way for the construction of the Empire State Building. On the left with the two candelabra is an Aeolian organ which allegedly could be heard across the bay on Longboat Key when the French doors to the terrace were open.

 

Ca' d'Zan, or “House of John” in the Venetian dialect, was the Venetian Gothic winter home built by John and Mable Ringling between 1924-1926 on the waterfront of Sarasota Bay. The five-story, 36,000-square-foot mansion with 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms cost $1.5 million (the equivalent to $20.9 million today). Despite the name, Mable was the guiding force in the design of the house, supervising even the smallest details. The architect was Dwight James Baum of New York.

 

John Ringling (1866-1936) was one of the five brothers who owned and operated the circus billed as “The Greatest Show on Earth.” In the Roaring Twenties he was one of the richest men in America. On his death, he bequeathed to the people of Florida his home and the museum he subsequently built for his collection of European art.

 

The Ringling, the State Art Museum of Florida, has been under the governance of Florida State University (FSU) since 2000.

 

On Google Earth:

Ca' d'Zan 27°22'58.68"N, 82°33'52.28"W

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Taken on October 6, 2015