Cà d’Zan Mansion, Sarasota (must see)
The Ca d'Zan Mansion was the winter home for John Ringling and his wife, Mable. After years of visiting Italy, the couple decided to build a home replicating the Venetian Gothic style. They hired an architect from New York, Dwight James Baum, to design the mansion. However, Mable Ringling oversaw the entire construction, ensuring every detail matched her vision. Work on the house began in 1924.
The Ca d'Zan Mansion was completed two years later and cost $1.5 million. The house was named Ca’ d’Zan, “House of John”, in the dialect of their beloved Venice. It was featured in the Country Life Magazine in 1927 and famously called a Venetian Palace in Florida.
The opulent mansion overlooks Sarasota Bay and is a 36,000-square-foot house with five stories, one basement, 41 rooms, and 15 bathrooms. There are stunning views from the stained-glass windows. The dining table could accommodate 22 chairs and was a perfect size for the many parties that John Ringling hosted. A crystal chandelier from the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel hangs, in the living room, above a black and white marble tiled floor.
The Ringling couple commissioned Hungarian-born artist Willy Pogany to paint murals in the interiors. The house also has an elevator, the first ever elevator installed in a private home in Florida. Besides Venetian Gothic influences, the mansion has Spanish, Italian Renaissance, and Moorish elements.
After John Ringling’s death, the property was neglected and went into decline. However, when Florida State University acquired the museum and the mansion, the university put in $15 million to renovate the house. Renovations were completed in 2002.
When you visit the Ca d'Zan Mansion, you can take a self-guided audio tour and learn more about the history of this incredible mansion. The audio tour is accessible via a QR code.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Sarasota. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Cà d’Zan Mansion on Map
Walking Tours in Sarasota, Florida
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
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