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SRQ Daily Mar 30, 2015

Monday Business Edition

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"Sarasota has some kind of spirit for aesthetics, and about the art of many things."

- Joe Farrell, architect

[Real Estate]  Single Family Home Sales

A total of 585 sales closed on single-family homes in Sarasota County in February, a 10 percent increase from February 2014, according to statistics released by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. Median sales price also jumped 5.9 percent from last year to $196,000. 

[Architecture]  Truce on Canopies Until Further Deliberation
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A set of canopies connecting the Sarasota Museum of Art with the Paul Rudolph-designed Sarasota High School will stand for now, as area architects and officials from Ringling College of Art and Design research the history of the structures.

Ringling College President Larry Thompson met Friday morning with architect Carl Abbott of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation and with David Sessions of Willis A. Smith Construction, the firm conducting construction and renovation of the original Sarasota High School building. The historic building predates the adjacent Rudolph-designed expansion, where high school operations happen today. The original building was leased to the college for the opening of the modern art museum.

The canopies have proven a controversial structure. The structures, which connect the historic and Rudolph-designed campus, were set for partial demolition last week, but the plan was put on hold amid complaints from the Sarasota Architectural Foundation. Abbott, who studied under the legendary Rudolph at Yale and later saw plans for the high school, said the canopies were essential as a bridge between the classic and modern parts of the high school campus. The college, however, suggested last week that the structures in question were not Rudolph originals, and had been added at a later date. Now, all parties are working to find common ground and demolition is on hold.

“Dr. Thompson is optimistic that there may be a solution that satisfies the needs of SMOA and the interests of the SAF and its members,” reads a statement from Ringling College. “Although there is no definitive agreement at this time, discussion is ongoing and a decision will be made early next week following further research and deliberation.” 

[Design]  Joe Farrell, Architects Hawaii
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

When the Center For Architecture Sarasota held its grand re-opening last week, an honored guest was Joe Farrell, who originally designed the Orange Avenue structure with the late William Rupp. Farrell spoke with SRQ about the structure and the ongoing celebration of the Sarasota School of Architecture.

What are the improvements and restorations to the CFAS building that stand out for you? It just makes it sing. I’m very happy about that. Guy [Peterson, the architect in charge of CFAS restoration] preserved all the original glass, which is now 50-some-odd years old. But I like the way they turned the big space in what used to be a furniture store so that they now have a lecture hall and a separate gallery for functions and exhibits. But some of the best things are yet to come. We have talked about the idea to take out some of the curb and put in landscaping. And on the other side, the alley will be taken out and there will be landscaping there as well, which will enhance the university side.

This wasn’t just a building you and Bill Rupp designed but a place where you located your office. How important is the structure for you? We put our heart and soul into the building. It came out great, but we didn’t really promote it as some great thing. We just went on to the next thing, which was the Caladesi [in Dunedin].

Coming back to Sarasota after spending so many professional years in Hawaii, what strikes you about the architecture of today? I do, in general, like what I see. There is significant creative modern architecture, mainly in the small buildings. I have some trouble with some of the high-rises, and I have designed six. But I love what I see at ground level downtown.

Is the Sarasota School of Architecture being honored in design today? I think it’s been adequately appreciated. I must say, you can’t hang out in the past. You have to go forward into the future, which is what most architects, particularly creative architects, do. You don’t look back. But I think it’s great that John Howe [writer of The Sarasota School of Architecture] did a great thing bringing attention to those buildings that make a difference. The whole thing, though, has to do with the fact Sarasota has some kind of spirit for aesthetics, and about the art of many things. Paintings, lifestyle, architecture, music, there is something in the water. 

[Exec Moves]  Probstfeld Selected for Manatee Memorial Board

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld has been selected to serve on the Board of Governors for Manatee Memorial Hospital, a leading health care facility with a longstanding tradition of providing quality health care in the area. Probstfeld is the sixth president of SCF, the area's oldest and largest public college with more than 44,000 graduates, including many who contribute expertise to the local medical community as doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, radiographers, dental hygienists and occupational therapy and physical therapy assistants.  

Manatee Memorial Hospital

[Recognition]  Beneva Oaks Staff Honored with National Award

The management team of Beneva Oaks Apartments, a facility consisting of 40 apartments for adults with disabilities owned by Goodwill Manasota and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, recently received the “Divine Proportions Award” from Consecra Housing Network. The award was given to recognize the staff for its response to an apartment fire in May of 2014. Beneva Oaks Apartments, which are managed by the Consecra Housing Network, provide subsidized housing for low-income individuals and families, where one of the heads of household in each apartment has a disability that has resulted in mobility impairment. 

Beneva Oaks Apartments

[Synergy]  Suncoast Partnership Upgrades Information Systems

The Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness announced that United Way 2-1-1 Manasota now operates through the same secure information system that supports the Continuum of Care's Homeless Management Information System. This means the region will have a seamless, efficient linkage between resource and referral functions and the service providers using HMIS.  It will reduce duplication of effort while allowing quick access and real-time referrals. 

Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine and edited by Senior Editor Jacob Ogles. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising, please contact Ashley Ryan at 941-365-7702 x211 or at her contact page. To unsubscribe, please click here.

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