Sarasota Lido, Florida 1940s/1950s
The iconic Sarasota Lido was situated on two acres of the city’s Lido Beach and opened amid great fanfare in 1940.
Designed by architect Ralph Twitchell as one of Florida’s Works Progress Administration projects (WPA employed millions of job-seekers to carry out public works projects, by Presidential Order) there was a pool, a ballroom, cabanas and a bandstand. A balcony, fronted by iconic sea horses, was its most famous symbol.
Jeff La Hurd, writing on jacksonville.com in 2018, describes it beautifully.
‘It stood on the beach as an architectural gem, as blindingly white as the surrounding sand. Designed by Ralph Twitchell, considered the dean of what became known as the Sarasota School of Architecture, it provided a unique Art Deco playground, a multifaceted recreational haven that became the hub for all manner of events in Sarasota: political rallies, dining, drinking and dancing, proms, club meetings, sporting events, beauty pageants — everything.
‘If you visited there as a child, you remember splashing in the shallow round wading pool; as a teenager the AAU size swimming pool with its high and low diving boards, and snack bar; as an adult the Low Tide Bar & Grill, or dancing in the Casa Marina Lounge to the music of popular bandleader, Rudy Bundy and his “sizzling clarinet.”
‘The second-floor balcony with its stoic sea horses starring in the distance provided the perfect spot to sit and watch the goings on below.
The Casino was situated on two acres of property with 1,300 feet of beach frontage. Its presence all the more the striking because it stood nearly alone on the entire beach; the only other nearby building, the two-story Lido Beach Hotel that was barged there in sections by Sam Gumpertz in 1932.’
By the late 1950s the property was aging. Despite attempts to raise money to restore it back to its glory days, the Lido was razed in 1964.
We believe this beautiful Art-Deco-style menu was from the late 1940s or early 1950s.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.