Sarasota’s bayfront would have greeted you with this landscape 127 years ago……
It was 1887 and John Hamilton Gillespie was beginning to revamp a fishing village on the west coast of Florida called Sara Sota into “the prettiest place on the coast of America”. In the distance you get a peek at the town’s new hotel, The DeSoto.
The hotel was sold in 1902 and reopened with a new name – The Belle Haven Inn. Almost a decade would pass before the demand for rooms was greater than what were available.
A new wing was added to the rear of the hotel in 1911, a year after Owen Burns arrived to make Sarasota his home. Mr Burns’s vision and drive would ultimately transform Sarasota beginning with improvements to the bay front including a seawall.
The Belle Haven Inn sat on land that is today the location of The Orange Blossom Condominium at the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue. And yes, The Orange Blossom was originally a hotel – one of many that lined Main Street and Palm as Sarasota grew into a sought after winter resort destination.