Historic homes tour focuses on Laurel Park

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SARASOTA, Fla. – Do you ever wonder when you walk Sarasota streets or drive through neighborhoods what the city was like in the early days? The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation is sponsoring a historic homes tour this weekend that allows you to step back in time and take a look at our past.

This year's tour takes place in the Laurel Park neighborhood. The community was established during the real estate boom of the 1920's in downtown Sarasota. Many of those original homes still exist today, and you are invited to visit them Sunday.

Laurel Park stretches from U.S. 301 to Orange Avenue in the area south of Ringling Boulevard. The tour focuses on 10 buildings near the intersection of Oak Street and Madison Court.

The neighborhood was platted by Owen Burns in 1925. "Actually, it still has a lot of the original personality, which is really what's special about the community. A lot of families have passed it on from generation to generation for three generations,” says Ron McCarty, vice president of the Sarasota Historical Alliance.

A real building boom was underway in 1925; Five hundred homes were built in Sarasota that year. "The 1920s was when the land became very valuable. The land was expanding, building houses in all areas."

And as these homes were built, Sarasota's distinctive character was being formed. "That's when the museum was established, in that time period.”

The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation's Historic Homes Tour is Sunday from 11am to 5pm. For more information, including where you can get your tickets, visit www.historicsarasota.org.