The Laurel Park National Register of Historic Places District
Laurel Park is one of Sarasota’s oldest downtown, urban neighborhoods. Located between Orange Avenue and Washington Boulevard south of Morrill Street, it is approximately 50 acres stretching over nine city blocks in Sarasota, Florida.
Single-family homes, duplexes and small apartment buildings dating back to the 20s line the original brick paved streets. Architectural styles include Frame Vernacular, Masonry Vernacular, Bungalow, Mission Revival, Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean Revival. While primarily residential, the neighborhood includes some businesses and was once the home of Sarasota’s County Courthouse and Sarasota’s daily newspaper, The Sarasota Herald.
The district is generally associated with events that were important to the early development of Sarasota from 1920-1957. Its architectural styles and varied pattern of development additionally contribute to making it a valuable resource for the City and the State of Florida to preserve.
No single year of importance or architecture can be attributed to the district.
The most significant years of development were between 1920 and 1927.
Definition of a District
A district is a geographically definable area, urban or rural, possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united by past events or aesthetically by plan or physical development. A district may also comprise individual elements separated geographically but linked by association or history. Sec.60.3 National Register Federal Program Regulations
On Laurel Park Becoming a District
A group of Laurel Park residents began a grassroots effort to preserve the history of the neighborhood in 2005. In 2006, the City of Sarasota offered assistance and hired a preservation consultant to draft a district nomination for national recognition. After a year in review by the State of Florida’s Historic Preservation Office, the State formally nominated Laurel Park for listing on the National Register.
The Laurel Park historic district has 270 contributing structures. Two of these are individually designated National Register buildings, and 20 have been locally designated historic by the City of Sarasota. The district’s streetscapes remain characteristic of Sarasota in the 20’s with narrow sidewalks and original brick paving by the Burns and McAlpin Paving Co. exposed in many of its streets.
On March 11, 2008 Laurel Park became the seventh historic district in the City of Sarasota to be awarded the honor of designation as a National Register of Historic Places District.
What Does District Designation Do?
Designation is an honor. Only properties and sites worthy of recognition and preservation because of their architectural merit or importance in local, regional, or national history are chosen. 85,822 properties across our country are listed and 1,602,903 resources contribute to those listed. Inclusion helps by:
1- Provides a written history of the people, the development and the architecture of the neighborhood for future generations.
2- It offers public recognition which increases awareness and appreciation for the diverse architectural fabric and the traditional street pattern and sidewalks.
3- It helps to create a spirit of community and reinforces a sense of place.
4- Designation also allows owners of income-producing properties (commercial and rental residential) to take advantage of tax benefits for rehabilitation. This means that if an owner substantially restores or adaptively reuses a property in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, the owner can be eligible for a 20% tax credit on the amount expended on the rehabilitation.
5- Designation sparks community interest in its history and its historic resources. It may prompt people to make the extra effort to save a historic property if it is threatened with demolition or alteration.
7- Districts are sustainable development helping to preserve the design, scale and uses in a neighborhood.
8- A National Register District designation adds value to all properties in the district, not just the historically designated properties.
Please note – This website and its content are in no way related to the neighborhood association of Laurel Park.