Sarasota County is located in southwest central Florida on the Gulf Coast. The county seat is Sarasota and its largest city is North Port.
Sarasota Countyis part of the North Port-Sarasota—Bradenton, FL metropolitan statistical area. The city of Sarasota has a long and fascinating history, beginning in 1885 when Scottish settlers arrived in search of their dream.
Although most of them left due to the harsh living conditions, the city has since grown from a small fishing village to the vibrant city it is today. Over the course of 130 years, Sarasota has seen many changes, including the construction of Ed Smith Stadium, where the Baltimore Orioles currently have spring training. In 1921, Sarasota County was separated from Manatee County during the creation of several new counties, with Sarasota being designated as the county seat. During this time, John Hamilton Gillespie was responsible for paving Sarasota's first streets, as well as constructing levees and roadways connecting downtown Sarasota to St.
Petersburg. In 1935, Sarasota began to recover from the Great Depression, following a pattern observed in other Florida tourist cities such as St. The area is now known for its cultural and environmental services, beaches, resorts, and the Sarasota School of Architecture. Charles Ringling built the Sarasota Terrace Hotel across from the site he later donated to the county seat.
This skyscraper was built in Chicago's architectural style and was located across Washington Boulevard. Nearby educational institutions with a regional draw include State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota and a commuter branch of the University of South Florida, with the main campus located in Tampa. The area is also served by two newspapers: The Bradenton Herald and The Bradenton Times. In 1941, Myakka River State Park was inaugurated, which remains to this day as a reminder of Bertha Palmer's naturalistic legacy in Sarasota.
In the 1960s, the Van Wezels built a performing arts hall on the bayfront which visitors can still enjoy today at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Fine art galleries, artist collectives, filmmaking and many decorative arts are practiced in Sarasota and Cultural Coast. Sarasota County has joined with the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority to plan and build future transportation infrastructure, including light rail, commuter rail and bus service. At the end of the 20th century, many of Sarasota's most modest historic structures were demolished. However, Gillespie's legacy lives on today in its surviving buildings in downtown Sarasota and in its abundance of golf courses that succeeded its first on Florida's Gulf Coast.