Thursday, April 19, 2018

The House the Circus Built

One of the things we did on our recent trip to Florida was to visit this mansion in Sarasota that was finished in 1926.
It is the Gothic Venetian style estate built  by John and Mabel Ringling, owners of Ringland Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus...and was christened Ca'd' Zan, which in the Venetian dialect stands for house of John.
John was at that time one of the wealthiest men in the US and  it is apparent that he and his wife Mabel spared no expense building this palatial home. The rear of the house shown above faces the Sarasota Bay where at the time their 125 ft yacht would have been parked.

I especially liked the Venetian stained glass windows that are throughout the house. They cast such a beautiful hue of light on a sunny day,
and also the hidden garden where the graves of John, Mabel and his sister are.

Mabel unfortunately stayed here, their summer home, only three times before her death. John suffered great losses in his investments and in the stock market crash of 1929. In order to save his estate, John deeded it to the state of Florida.
You may visit this estate which is open seven days a week and tour the house, the circus museum and the art gallery..


  1. What a nice building this is Janey, it looks almost like Venice that first photo.

  2. How interesting! I like to spend ALL of my time at the beach but when you get to spend several days, it's nice to see the sights. I'm going to google this and read more about the area. Hugs!

  3. The excesses of the monied, wealthy class in days gone-by are stunning as is this example. I wonder if we are entering a similar period

  4. As beautiful as the house/mansion is I feel it didn't bring John and Mable all that much happiness Janey.. but I could be wrong 😀