SARASOTA, FL – One of the most historic homes on the Florida Gulf Coast, the original Ringling house built between 1918 and 1920 for Alfred Ringling, has just come on the market after an extensive two-year renovation.
Listed by John and Christina McNaught of the McNaught Group at Vacasa Real Estate LLC, the property is located in southern Manatee County at 7715 Westmoreland Drive near the Ringling Museum and is being offered for $1.499 million by owner Sherri Coble, President of Coble Enterprises.
“It is honor to help this spectacular home find a new owner who truly appreciates its history,” said listing agent John McNaught.
With almost 4,700 square feet of living space, five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and expansive pool deck, this house is unlike any other on the market. The palatial country home was built on 218 bayfront acres for Alfred Ringling, the middle brother of the seven Ringling brothers.
Alfred died before the home was completed, leaving his widow, Elizabeth, and son, Richard, to finish it. Richard and his wife were said to have entertained lavishly in the home until 1924, when he sold the entire 218 acres to the developers of Whitfield Estates. The placement of the house conflicted with the Whitfield Estates proposed street and lot layout, so the house was later moved a short distance to its current location.
The house is known as the original Ringling house because even though circus magnate brothers John and Charles Ringling already had winter homes on Sarasota Bay, they did not build their palatial homes until around six years later.
With classical columns and a gabled second floor, the home has been described as a 19th-century Southern coastal plantation home. The inside of the home, however, is much more resplendent. The two-story main room, originally used as a ballroom, sets the tone of grandeur with Venetian columns, Renaissance-style coffered ceiling, eight sets of French doors, and a second-floor mezzanine with 18th-century English balustrade, which overlooks the room on three sides. The original Dade County Pine hardwood floors have been fully restored and the original porcelain door knobs remain intact.
New replacements in the recent renovation include the roof, hurricane shutters and fabrics, chandeliers and light fixtures, composite deck, five air conditioners, pool pump, landscaping and irrigation system, indoor and outdoor paint, all kitchen appliances, and all new electrical, water lines and sewer lines.
Until recently, a two-bedroom guest house existed on the northeast corner of the property. However, it was removed as part of the renovation effort after concerns about its structural integrity. The property appraiser still lists the land use as two or more houses and according to the building department, the guest house can be rebuilt.
For more information, please visit the virtual tour at www.SarasotaRinglingHouse.com or contact John and Christina McNaught at (407) 970-4502 / (941) 266-9530 or JMC6450@gmail.com / Christina@ChristinaMcNaught.com.