Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ca' d'Zan - John Ringling Mansion

Cà d'Zan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cà d'Zan, a Mediterranean Revival residence in Sarasota, Florida, was the winter home of the American circus owner, developer and art collector John Ringling and his wife Mable. Lovers of the Venetian aesthetic, the Ringlings chose the site overlooking Sarasota Bay for its vista, which reminded them of the lagoon of their favorite city. The name of the residence is Venetian for House of John.[3] The Ringlings had been renting the residence of Mary Louise and Charles N. Thompson on their extensive Shell Beach parcel, and decided to purchase some of the land to build a permanent winter headquarters that would include a residence on the bay and a museum for their extensive art and artifact collection. An art school was planned to abut the museum, but it never was built. Mable's rose garden was the first completed portion of the complex.

Architectural details of the house reflect influences ranging from the Venetian Doge's Palace[5] to the tower of the first Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Items collected by the couple during their international travels were featured in the residence.

The design of the residence was commissioned from New York architect Dwight James Baum in 1924 and it was built by the Sarasota developer, Owen Burns. The work was completed in 1926, as the Florida boom collapsed and the bank failures that would lead to the crash of 1929 began. The original cost to build the home was $1.6 million.[6] Adjusting for inflation, that converts to approximately $21 million in 2013 dollars.

In 1982, the residence was listed as a contributing property to the Caples'-Ringlings' Estates Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.[2] Other contributing properties in the district include the Ellen and Ralph Caples residence, the John and Mable Ringling Museum, the Hester Ringling Lancaster Sandford residence and the Edith and Charles Ringling residence.
The 1998 film Great Expectations, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, had portions filmed at Cà d'Zan, which served as Ms. Dinsmoor's house, Paradiso Perduto.

The residence was restored in 2002 under the direction of Bill Puig. Most details of the original construction and decoration were restored faithfully except some of the interior color schemes.

Rather than duplicate what has been written I picked the explanation what Ca' D'Zan is all about.  We toured the museum and Ca'D'Zan in one afternoon and didn't get to see it all.  The home is very impressive and interesting.

Entrance path to the house

Gerry, me & Larry jr

Larry jr & Jane

Tap Room

 The photo below is from the front of the Art Museum on the property.  It was the meeting place for everyone after checking out the other buildings and gardens.  It was getting close to sunset and the clouds and the color of the building made for an interesting shot.

We had a great time and wished we had arrived sooner to more fully explore the different buildings.


  1. I had Cà d'Zan on my list to see waiting for it to open after the reconstruction. We went as soon as we could when it opened. It is beautiful. I am glad you are having fun and getting to do what you wanted to do in FL. We sure enjoyed getting to visit with you two again. Safe travelling.