Thursday, July 2, 2009

John and Mabel Barnum's Sarasota Mansion

The grounds that this mansion sits upon are lush with foliage of all kinds. There are rose gardens and statues all around for you to view. Mrs. Barnum even kept a "secret garden" which was started from the various plants her friends would bring her as a gift. I have no idea why this is called a secret garden, but it is the only real garden on the premises other than her rose garden.

This impressive home was designed and built by New York architect Dwight James Baum in 1924 and was completed in 1926. Mrs Barnum was involved in every detail and even though it was called Ca' d' Zan (House of John) her name was on all the paperwork and she was the contact for any changes made.

This is a little closer view of their home.

The character of the architecture was truly something. Such rich detail in everything, from the stained glass window insets to the lovely zigzag design created with the two different colors of brick.

This is the formal living room of the home and displayed all the modern comforts of their time.

I took this photo of the ceiling in the living room looking up to the 2nd floor where the bedrooms and bathrooms were located. The craftsmanship is astounding.

Here is my husband, Ralph standing at the corner of the outside veranda. This is the view the Barnums had in the back of their home. Mr. Barnum's yacht was generally tied to the dock so that he could take his friends and family out on the water at whim.

This is a picture of the back of the home. The doors would open up and gave a free flowing affect for their guests at the many parties held here.

I was amazed by the flooring of this deck and caught a shot of it. All inlaid marble. Even the path around the decking to the dock was done in this gorgeous marble.

This is the Historic Asolo Theatre that is also a part of this museum tour. This is a small, but cozy place that was originally built in 1798 in Asolo, Italy to honor the 15th century Queen of Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro. In the 1930's the panels were removed and in the 1950's were purchased by the Ringling's director for the Museum.
The portrait shown in one of the panels is of the Queen herself. Each panel was painstakingly restored and then reset in the pavilion just inside the Ca' d' Zan Gatehouse.
There were over 890 ornamental details, 85 percent are still original. Collaborative teams cast molds for missing panels and pieces and matched materials and colors to historic accuracy.
This theatre is still used for theatre, music, dance, film and lectures.

These unusual gnarly trees are known as Banyan Trees that grow all along the estate.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Christine for this very interesting tour.

Soyun Park said...

Wow! those look great! Hope to visit there someday~

Audrey said...

I love touring places like that! They are all so beautiful. Most of the time though I'm thinking to myself "look at all that cleaning someone has to do!!"