An architecture instructor-artist will provide an overview of historic buildings from an architectural view as well as points of interest you'll see on our afternoon narrated walking field trip.Lunch: Lunch in downtown Sarasota. Part of the charm of this program is choosing the cuisine you prefer, whether classic North or South American, Asian, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Spanish, and many more.Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Our expert-led walk will focus on significant architectural landmarks along a section of North Tamiami Trail including The Pagoda Building, designed by Victor Lundy for the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and built in 1956. Victor Lundy was a contributor to the Sarasota School of Architecture that combined influences of the European modernist movement with local materials and the desire to minimize the distinction between interior and exterior spaces.
We'll also explore the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, designed by architect William Wesley Peters of Frank Lloyd Wright's firm and dubbed "the purple cow" and "the purple people seater" when it first opened in 1970.
We'll then take a bus to downtown Sarasota and continue our walking exploration highlighted by the 1926 Sarasota Times Building, designed by Dwight James Baum.Dinner: Enjoy dinner (catered by the hotel restaurant) in our private room.Evening: PRESENTATION: This preview of what to expect at the Ringling Museum Complex during our field trip tomorrow will include a video on John Ringling narrated by Hal Holbrook.Lodging: Lido Beach ResortMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
FIELD TRIP: We begin our exploration as an expert guides you through palatial Ca' d'Zan, described as "the last of the Gilded Age mansions" to be built in America. John and Mable Ringling greatly admired the unique architectural style of the Danieli and the Bauer-Grunwald hotels in Venice, as well as palaces that face the Venetian canals. This architectural style, called "Venetian Gothic," greatly influenced the Ca'Zan's design. A comprehensive six-year, $15 million restoration and conservation was completed on Ca'Zan in 2002.
The Ringling complex contains numerous wonders and we move next to the Circus Museum, established in 1948. Document circuses of the past and today as you view colossal parade and baggage wagons, sequined costumes, memorabilia and artifacts documenting the history of The Ringling family circus, John Ringling as the Circus King, and the greatest circus movie, The Greatest Show on Earth, was filmed in Sarasota.
Next is the museum's Tibbals Learning Center with an exhibition of circus posters. Ranging in size from window to barn sized, these colorful posters were plastered on buildings, walls and fences all across America and broadcasted in no uncertain terms that the circus was coming to town. The learning center also contains the world's largest miniature circus the Howard Bros. Circus Model a replica of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1919-1938, created over a period of more than 50-years.Lunch: We'll have lunch at Treviso, the museum's Italian restaurant.Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: We continue the afternoon at the extraordinary Ringling Art Museum. The incredible building housing the collection emulates the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. John Ringling engaged architect John H. Phillips to design the museum in 1925. Construction began in 1927, but was slowed almost immediately by the collapse of Florida’s land boom and later, Wall Street’s stock market crash. Financial misfortune and Mable’s death in 1929 might have ended the dream, but John Ringling instead gained a new resolve to complete the museum, borrowing money as needed, knowing that it would perpetuate the memory of his beloved Mable. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was officially opened to the public in 1931.
After leaving the Art Museum, explore the gardens and grounds at your leisure. All you see was given to the people of Florida, thus preserving for generations to come the exuberant lifestyle of America’s spectacular Roaring Twenties. The beautiful landscaped grounds contain over 400 species of exotic Florida trees, plants, flowers, sculpture garden figures, and Mable's historic rose garden.Dinner: Enjoy dinner (catered by the hotel restaurant) in our private room.Evening: EXTRACURRICULAR: Our entertainment this evening is viewing Cecil B. DeMille's magnum circus opus, "The Greatest Show on Earth" — filmed in cooperation with Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey, much of it in Sarasota. The movie, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1952, features lavish production values, actual circus acts, documentary footage, and "behind-the-rings" looks at the massive logistics effort that made big top circuses possible.Lodging: Lido Beach ResortMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner