An Architectural Tour of Sarasota


Paul Rudolph’s notable Umbrella House

On a recent trip to Sarasota, Florida – home to many mid-century buildings of modern architecture – OvS Principal Eric Groft and his good friend and fellow UVA alumnus Marilyn Nordby conducted their very own architectural “drive-by” tour.

Many of the homes and buildings that they visited were listed in the Sarasota Architectural Foundation’s 2009 book – Tour Sarasota Architecture – and are concentrated in the neighborhoods of Avondale and Lido Shores.

The tour allowed them to soak in the styles created by 20th Century architect Paul Rudolph – whom Eric and OvS Founding Principal Jim van Sweden interviewed at the architect’s renowned Beekman Place apartment in NYC – and other local modernist architects who went on to found the Sarasota School of Architecture (SSA), a regional style of post-war architecture characterized by its attention to climate and terrain.

Perhaps their most notable stop was Paul Rudolph’s Umbrella House – an icon of mid-century modernism which serves as the most recognized example of the SSA.


Paul Rudolph’s Sarasota High School

Other notable stops on their architectural tour included Sarasota High School, designed in part by Paul Rudolph in 1958 and an iconic example of the Sarasota modern style due to its minimalist buildings with flat roofs and planar walls but with attention to the tropical climate;


Martin Harkavy House by Paul Rudolph

the Martin Harkavy House – also designed by Paul Rudolph – that contains broad overhangs, thin framing and an open carport, working to create a home both light and monumental;


Mumford Pool House by Jonathan Parks Architect

the Mumford Pool House – designed by Jonathan Parks Architect – whom OvS was fortunate to collaborate with on a large estate in Harford, Maryland;


Williams House by Guy Peterson, OFA, Inc.

the recently completed Williams House by Guy Peterson of OFA, Inc. which takes full advantage of its narrow 80-foot wide lot through the extension of its “floor plan” to the property boundaries, and the curvaceous, free-form sculptural styled Palm Avenue Parking Garage – also by Jonathan Parks Architect.


Palm Avenue Parking Garage by Jonathan Parks Architect


Spring Is Here!

After a seemingly never-ending winter (it’s even snowing today), the first day of spring has finally arrived, bringing with it more than just sunshine and the hope of moderate temperatures, but the promise of a healthy, colorful, beautiful garden.

In other words – now is the time to schedule a spring clean-up with your landscape contractor.

Your landscape contractor will cut back overgrown grasses and perennials, apply fertilizer, and mulch your garden while the ground is still relatively firm. Furthermore, now is the time to determine whether winter damage has affected your trees and shrubs.

Once your garden has been assessed, cut back, and mulched, you’ll find the resulting stark landscape a thing of beauty.

Please contact OvS if you would like us to review your property. The continued success of your garden is important to us, and we are here to help with every change the seasons bring.