Happy Birthday Owen Burns!

145 years ago today the man who truly transformed Sarasota from a sleeping fishing village was born – Owen Burns.  He arrived in Sarasota in 1910 for a visit and stayed for the rest of his life. At one time he was the largest landowner in Sarasota having acquired the immense holdings of the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company.Owen Burns Jeff LaHurd’s book “Owen Burns, The Man Who Bought and Built Sarasota” is a wonderful read filed with photos and a terrific map of Sarasota marking the locations of the significant improvements Mr. Burns was responsible for.

Burns and family 2Owen and Vernona Burns and family on the porch of their home which was located at the corner of Gulfstream Avenue and Tamiami Trail.

Below is the Herald Square Building Mr. Burns built opposite his Burns Court Bungalows along Pineapple Avenue just outside the Laurel Park district.

herald sq

Much of today’s Laurel Park was platted by Mr. Burns in the 1920’s.  Portions of the neighborhood, including Washington Park were also developed by him.

Owen Burns ad 1924

For more information visit: www.owenburns.com  or on Facebook at: Owen Burns Celebration.  If you are looking for a copy of Mr. LaHurd’s book on Owen Burns try Bookstore 1 on lower Main Street in downtown Sarasota.

Happy, Happy Birthday to a very special man!

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