Preserving History: Unveiling 5 Original Gems of Sarasota Art Museum Building

By Brooke Yerger
SAM TAC 2023-24

1. Water Fountain Tiles

These beautiful decorative tiles are amongst some of the various hidden gems of the museum. These beautiful tiles, each a work of art in its own right, adorn two water fountains positioned on either side of the main lobby hallway. These captivating tiles showcase a beautifully handcrafted shield design, adding a touch of history to the surroundings.

2. Original Terrazzo Floors & Star Mosaic

As you walk to the back of the lobby to the right of the giftshop, you will be greeted with the beautiful original terrazzo floors accompanied by a large star mosaic in the middle. This type of flooring was very popular in the 1920’s when the building was first constructed due to the large impact of the art deco movement. In addition, the mosaic was created to honor those who served in World War 1.

3. Recycled Floors

Did you know that the wooden flooring on the second and third stories of the museum has an interesting history? Back when the museum was undergoing a major remodeling, the architects and designers made an ingenious decision to recycle the old wood from the ceiling and repurpose it as the new flooring. Take a moment as you walk on the 2nd and 3rd floors to admire the

4. Original Sarasota Entrance

As you walk through the large wooden doors at the back of the lobby, you’ll find yourself facing the original entrance to the Sarasota High building. The facade features exquisite Collegiate neo-Gothic details, giving the museum its captivating and charming appearance. These wooden doors, being original to the building, add a touch of historical authenticity to the space. Additionally, on the left-hand side, you can still admire the well-preserved Sarasota High sign, further immersing you in the rich history and heritage of the place.

5. Paul Rudolph/Bistro

The present location of the Museum’s Bistro and McGuire Hall is within the Paul Rudolph building constructed in 1959. Originally, this building served as a dedicated space for students to showcase and sell the products they created during their trade studies, encompassing disciplines such as Agriculture, Shop, Wood, and Metal classes.

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