the home was built in the twenties for 1.5 million- a lot of money at the time- but it was done in a mere two years- which is astounding!
much of the decorating was Mabel Ringling's own design and of course they were filling both the home and their personal art museum with things purchased on numerous European trips (where they also were interviewing circus acts!- what a life!)
he was a real estate magnate along with the circus business and many other investments - and at one time was among the top ten wealthiest men in the country-
but let's get to the house- the morning Lynn and I went was perfect blue sky weather heading to a warm afternoon...
coming up from land side towards the house-
time has made some changes and this piece of statuary has been mostly swallowed by the banyan-
a side door to the ball room from the terrace
details of the terracotta work-
and inside view looking out at the bay from the ball room-
the "grand court" ceiling- and skylight- the wood work is all pecky cypress
the living room-
dining room - could hold up to twenty two at the table between the dining room and entry area which adjoined the dining room-
wine "attic" - the storage was on the third floor-
a shelf in the master bedroom held this cover of time-
the master bedroom
clothes from the closet in the master bedroom-
John's bathtub one solid piece of Sienna marble!
one of the guest rooms
a guest bath (one of 15 bathrooms - about half were in the staff's quarters)
the game room on the third floor- with the ceiling painted in fresco including a painting of Mabel and John in Carnivale costume- keeping with the venetian theme of the house-
view of the grand court from the third floor game room-
the views from the tower-
the view from the tower was magnificent! and as we headed to Treviso to meet Phil for lunch we discussed what their lives must have been like- the parties, the travel, the servants (who lived quite well in their 15,000 square foot quarters) - certainly of a bygone era.... but very livable! LOL!