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John Ringling built this magnificent Venetian Gothic style mansion for his wife Mable in the 1920’s in Sarasota, Florida.  It is fully restored now and open to the public at the Ringling Circus Museum and you can tour outside and in and even get a special tour that takes you up to the top of the five story tower overlooking Sarasota Bay.  He called it Ca’ d’Zan or “the House of John” and it is 36,000 square feet with 41 rooms, plus 15 bathrooms and even a basement (very unusual for Florida).  It was built on a lot 1,000 feet long and 3,000 feet deep right on Sarasota Bay.  The main building has four floors and a taller tower with an external spiral stone staircase.  The Barrel tiles of the roof were 16th century Spanish in origin and shipped over in container ships from Spain by the Ringlings.

The exterior of the building is Terra cotta tiles and much of it has elaborately glazed colors.  Much of the walls are Stucco.  The huge deck area out back where this photo was taken was right on the bay and his ship the “Zalophus” was docked along with a real Gondola from Venice where Mable Ringling took guests on rides.  The mansion cost an unheard of $1.5 Million in 1926 when it was completed and had nearly a million dollars of furniture and antiques in it.  There were many amazing parties out on the huge stone deck/ dock with famous guests like Will Rogers and the Mayor of NY City.

This photo was taken from the back deck with Zig Zag multicolored stonework. Please note the windows are all different colored leaded glass.

ISO 100, F/9, 1/160 sec, 24 mm Lens

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