Historic Markers Across Florida

John Ringling Vision for St Armands Key/Allegory of Sarasota, Its Seven Virtues

Marker ID:  
Location: On St Armands Circle, Sarasota, FL
County: Sarasota
Coordinates: N 27° 19.126    W 082° 34.600
  27.31876666    -82.57666666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM5ZV2


Side 1:
John Ringling (1866-1936) foresaw a people-friendly place of broad boulevards, beautiful homes, classical statues, lush landscaping, elegant shops and restaurants, and a central park for musical performances. His travels to the Renaissance cities of Italy inspired this vision. The classical sculpture he saw combined the realistic portrayal of individual beauty and the humanistic aspects of localized beauty. Sculpture was a key component of his vision as he began marketing lots on St Armonds Key in 1927. At that pint it consisted of only the streets, boulevards, landscaping, statues, seawalls, subdivision plat, one commercial building and a handful of homes. Due to the intervening Florida land crash, the Depression, and World War II; it would be 30 years before the commercial and residential districts would be built-out.
"Save our Statues", undertaken in 2007 and chaired by Key resident Edward Pluto; had the goal of preserving the Ringling-era statues dating to the 1920s and enhancing this legacy with 2 new classically-themed statues in white marble.
St Armands Residents - Association and its President, William Rex, thank you the Business Improvement District, Ringling Museum of Art, City of Sarasota, St Armands Circle Association, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Lido Key Residents Association and the many individual contributiors for their support. Also particular thanks to the Sarasota County Comission and Commissioner Joseph B , St Armands District 2 Representative, for making this plaque possible.

Side 2:
John Ringling foresaw Sarasota as a ´metropolitan city´ distinguished bu its cultural facilities. Having both Ca d´Zan (1925) and the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art (1927) on his 60-acre estate on Sarasota Bay, events were set in motion that would fulfill Ringling´s vision. This complex, now affiliated with the Florida State University, also boasts theatres, a circus museum, and research facilities. Over time, the Sarasota Concert Band (successor to the Czecho-Slovakian National Band brought to Sarasota by Ringling in 1925), Ringling College of Art and Symphony (1949), Mote Marine Libratory (1955), New College (1960), Van Wesel Performing Arts Hall (1969), Selby Gardens (1973), and others too numerous to mention were added, fulfilling Ringling´s observation: "Though life is short, art if long."
Alleory of Sarasota, Its Seven Virtues copyright 2007, conceived and designed by Edward Pinto, was dedicated on February 1, 2008 to John Ringling and countless others who created the cultural jewel of Florida.
Music - representing the performing arts
Flora* - representing our natural history
Aristotle - representing our educational and research facilities
Sculpture* - representing painting and sculpture
Asclepius, god of medicine - representing the bounty of land and sea
Amphritrite, wife of Neptune - representing our gulf and bays
* denotes replica of statue in the Ringling Museum Collection
Michelangelo looks on with approval over the Seven Virtues


City: Sarasota, FL