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Garden 441 Ralph Twitchell "Father of the Sarasota School of Architecture"

Posted By Ashley Lundy, Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Ralph Twitchell in 1890 in Mansfield, Ohio, Ralph Twitchell was interested in architecture from an early age. Ralph studied at McGill University in Montreal, and then at Columbia University where he took courses in landscape architecture and the beaux arts form of architecture. Following his enlistment in the army Twitchell came to Sarasota as an architectural supervisor where he worked with architect Dwight Baum who was working on building Ca’d’Zan, the John Ringling home. Twitchell participated in the design and construction planning for the El Vernona Hotel, later known as the John Ringling Hotel. In 1926, Ralph designed four Mediterranean homes in the Whitfield area of Sarasota, north of the airport. But of all his experience with architecture Ralph Twitchell is well known for designing The Sarasota School of Architecture.  The Sarasota School of Architecture to Twichell was a style of architecture that was in harmony with the environment. Ralph Twitchell never thought that the Spanish, or Mediterranean style of architecture, really suited the Florida climate. His style of architecture, which he called Florida Modern, featured a clean, open contemporary floor plan. His homes were "goldfish bowls" – light-filled -- with terrazzo floors, wide overhangs, and open to the beautiful Florida weather. Some people would say Ralph Twitchell played an important role in integrating the beauty of Florida nature with architecture. I decided to dedicate this garden within the public view of my home. Before Twitchell began his work on the Sarasota school of Architecture he started off building and designing the exterior of homes such as the John Ringling home as stated above.



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