Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty takes a look at a magical estate on the Sarasota intracoastal shore.
The great thing about North African architecture is that it is so Moorish – the more you see the more you want. The not so great thing about North African architecture – at least at the moment – is, well, North Africa. This is certainly a beautiful, exotic and fascinating part of the world lived in by a wonderful people. But every now and then the locals, quite understandably, are apt to become very upset with their despotic leaders and rebel – violently. It’s then that life can become uncomfortable in those parts.
So I am thrilled to mention a rather fine house called Es Ca Bay, which has a delightful Moorish theme, yet is set in a more peaceful and politically stable part of the globe. There’s little chance that the good folk of Sarasota, Florida will rise up in violent rebellion against the city fathers – although I am sure feathers do get ruffled in City Hall from time to time.
The house to which I refer is beautifully situated just south of Ca d’Zan – the extraordinary mansion built by John and Mabel Ringling in 1925 to display their ravishing collection of European art and, having been there myself, I can recommend it as a must-see in Sarasota.
Es Ca Bay, which looks west across the beautiful intracoastal waterway to Longboat Key, has to be one of the most beautiful estates on the west coast of Florida – and that is saying something.
The very reason that Ca d’Zan was built where it is, is the same reason that Es Ca Bay works so well within Sarasota’s memorable waterscape. A private, crescent-shaped beach gives Es Ca Bay its 650 ft of bay front. This provides plenty of opportunity for all those special facilities like sports bar, baths, summer kitchen, pool and dock with power hoist for boat & jet skis. For guests there is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, separate bay view apartment. For staff or an office there is a studio apartment and for the five cars there is a garage. Getting there quickly from wherever you are will be important so it is good to have Sarasota’s International Airport close at hand, and if you must tear yourself away, the city’s thriving downtown area is just a quick hop – you can go by car, but its more fun by boat!
The 3.2 acres of walled, gated and gorgeously landscaped grounds around this Moorish palace wake up perfectly with the dawn and then just get better as the hours pass until a spectacular Sarasota sunset finale finally drops the curtain on another glorious day at Es Ca Bay. It’s not the North African desert but the Floridian Gulf coast is a very worthy alternative.
By Nick Churton
The historic renovation and additions to the estate where done by renowned Sarasota Architect Thorning Little.