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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Whitfield in Manatee County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Whitfield Estates on Sarasota Bay

 
 
Whitfield Estates on Sarasota Bay Marker Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 24, 2016
1. Whitfield Estates on Sarasota Bay Marker Side 1
Inscription. (side 1)
The southern portion of Whitfield Estates was developed on land originally owned (1876-1912) by Fannie and General John Riggin Jr., an aide-de-camp of General Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War.

In 1924 a corporation led by Louis Broughton Whitfield of Montgomery, Alabama assembled 682 acres of land that included the 218 acre bayfront estate of the late Alfred Ringling. With a vision to create a town to rival Coral Gables, the master plan for Whitfield Estates included a majestic tourist hotel overlooking the bay, an 18-hole golf course, a business district, a yacht club, and the creation of islands in the bay.

Construction began in October 1924 an lots in the first unit (south of Whitfield Avenue) went on sale in January 1925. The phase north of Whitfield Avenue was platted in October 1925. The units east of the Tamiami Trail and the Donald Ross-designed golf course (now Sara Bay Country Club) were added in 1926.

Promoted by the Adair Realty and Trust Company as "the Jewel of the West Coast," Whitfield Estates was one of the most highly regarded development ventures during the 1920s Florida Land Boom.
(Continued on other side)
(side 2)
(Continued from other side)
Legendary golfer Bobby Jones was the assistant sales manager and noted
Whitfield Estates on Sarasota Bay Marker Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 24, 2016
2. Whitfield Estates on Sarasota Bay Marker Side 2
builders and architects included T.A. Monk and Ralph Twitchell. By the summer of 1926, an apartment building, 61 homes, a retail store, and the country club were completed or under construction.

In June 1926 Whitfield Estates incorporated as a town and elected its own mayor. Little did they know the Land Boom had already begun to dissolve and in March 1927 the developer filed for bankruptcy. Development halted and did not resume until the 1940s with the post-WWII housing boom. In 1949 Whitfield Estates established its own zoning district which existed until 1981 and ultimately led to the creation of the Whitfield Residential Overlay District.

The special character of Whitfield Estates is distinguished by a century of architectural styles which include many vintage homes built during one of Florida's most exciting eras.
 
Erected 2016 by The Whitfield-Ballentine Manor Association, Incorporated.
 
Location. 27° 24.498′ N, 82° 34.371′ W. Marker is in Whitfield, Florida, in Manatee County. Marker is on Whitfield Avenue just west of Phillips Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sarasota FL 34243, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies
Whitfield Estates on Sarasota Bay Marker looking west image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 24, 2016
3. Whitfield Estates on Sarasota Bay Marker looking west
. Indian Beach (approx. 3 miles away); The Twin Motel and Tourism (approx. 4.1 miles away); Whitaker Family/Gateway 2000 Executive Committee (approx. 4.3 miles away); Corey's Landing and Farming Community (approx. 4.3 miles away); World War II Bombing Range (approx. 4.4 miles away); Mary Wyatt Whitaker (approx. 4.4 miles away); Yellow Bluffs (approx. 4 miles away); Bidwell-Wood House (approx. 4 miles away).
 
Categories. ArchitectureSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 18, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2017, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 147 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 17, 2017, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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