Lido Casino

C Fi 9908

Back in 1940, the Lido Casino opened its doors for business. The Casino was designed by Ralph Twitchell, one of the founders of the Sarasota School of Architecture. In keeping with its oceanfront location, the building was decorated with several large cast seahorses. Its construction was funded by the Works Progress Administration in hopes of jumpstarting the slow Sarasota economy.

The Casino was a playground for adults and children alike, with a ballroom and shops and a swimming pool complete with a high dive. (Despite its name, there’s no mention of gambling in the description of the historic property.) Events from political rallies to beauty pageants were held there. And for a great night out, people headed to the Casino Marina Lounge where they could drink and dance to the music of bandleader Rudy Bundy and his “sizzling clarinet.”

After only 20 years, the Casino began to show its wear and tear. Citing mismanagement, city officials allocated $30,000 for the building’s maintenance in 1961. Three years later, a city bond referendum authorized $250,000 to be spent on updating and remodeling the building. But significant structural problems with the building were identified, and the Lido Casino was demolished in 1969.

To see pictures of the Casino, go here.

Source image:


Annie headshot

Annie Crouch

Annie is a student at Ringling College of Art and Design. She has experience with both private and public murals, and specializes in organic scenes and vivid colors.

"As a member of the Sarasota community, I was excited to be a part of such an amazing public art event. I enjoyed researching and exhibiting parts of Sarasota history through my passion, while also sharing it with others. In addition, it was extremely inspiring to be working with such skilled and experienced artists as part of a united project."

I painted:
-A flyer from the Sarasota French Film Festival
-A night blooming cactus flower from the Marie Selby Gardens
-A mermaid with a “minimum wake” warning
-The seahorse statue from the Lido Beach Casino
-A historic photo taken of local orange farmers
-Different shark teeth found in Venice,FL

Written By

Nanette Crist

Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at