South Lido park

Although we saw many interesting things on our walk last week, one thing struck me as special, it was the park itself and how it came to be. Sarasota is a town that is full of tourism and condo buildings, so how was it that this park was preserved for wildlife and nature. Sarasota has other parks but nothing as expansive unless you travel out to Mayakka State park.

when I looked into this further, I found that surprisingly, South Lido park only exists today because of a failed development project. in the early 1920s, John ringing bought a series of uninhited islands in the sarasota bay to convert into the “Ringling Isles”. He had a grand maser plan which included several things that are not in existence today including The Ritz Carlton on longboat key, a casino, a winter home for the 29th president Harding, and the development of South Lido, North Lido and all of Coon Key. Ringling had all the plans made and most of the streets had been put in and some shops and statues were up on St Aramands. By this time it was 1926 and florida unexpectedly hit a land bust. The project was abandoned with a newly build causeway leading to almost nothing.

With streets barren and abandoned buildings including the long boat key ritz carlton Things stayed pretty much the same until the late 1960s. the vision of ringing began to come true only recently when developers began building again but this time with the added awareness of how special sarasota wildlife was, they never completed any of the unfinished roads on lido key. or to coon key.

Without the land bust of the 1920s, we would probably have no wildlife or recreational area out in the Sarasota bay.

RinglingIslesthe original plan for the islands

Circle at St. Armands,2St armbands When it was abandoned in the late 1920s

ritz_carlton_longboat_key_600abandoned Ritz carlton hotel

birdkey1925the original bird key


3 thoughts on “South Lido park

  1. That is really interesting!!
    I didn’t know that Lido beach is here because of a fail project!
    Even though the original project sound pretty cool, I am glad it failed because now we have a beautiful place to visit.

  2. Wow, that’s really interesting! While it’s too bad for John Ringling, it’s a good thing his plans didn’t go through. That whole area wouldn’t be the same without South Lido Park

  3. This topic is really interesting! I’ve watched so many old movies and thought to myself, what does this area look like now? My friend’s mother attended Ringling in the 70’s and she showed me a bunch of old pictures and the only building that looked somewhat the same was Keating. I also find it really interesting to look at those before and after pictures of street corners and buildings.

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