One of the greatest charms of living in Sarasota is the history associated with many of the older neighborhoods and Cherokee Park is one of the crown jewels.

Located in the area known as west of the trail, Cherokee Park is just north of Siesta Drive and south of downtown Sarasota. Currently a highly desirable neighborhood with homes of many architectural styles and prices than range from 1 million up. But as with many of the Sarasota areas most prestigious neighborhoods Cherokee Park had humble beginnings.

In 1926 J.C. Brown became the developer of what would become one of Sarasota's signature neighborhoods by beginning construction of his vision of a community of homes designed only in the Spanish or Italian mediterranean architectural styles. The new community entitled by Brown, Cherokee Park was marked on Osprey Avenue by the signature block and stucco wall and gate posts adorned by mosaics of the Cherokee Rose. Additionally Brown built another one of Sarasota's signature buildings that is no more, a large and luxurious home in the Spanish architectural stile he titles, 'Cherokee Lodge”. Designed by architect Thomas Reed Martin at a reported cost of $500,000 the impressive home stood as the only home in Cherokee park for several years. During the 1960s a canal was dredged in the area and the landmark home was demolished to make room for the new layout.

Perhaps many years ahead of his time, Brown in a effort ensure his vision of a community of upscale homes had require potential home buyers to have a minimum of $10,000 in construction costs (1926 dollars) along the bay and slightly less inland. However fate would have other plans for Cherokee Park and with the onset of the great depression leading to few interested buyers Brown went as far as to give lots away as long as the homeowner was to build within a year and he could approve the designs.

In fact the start of sales in Cherokee Park could not have gone much slower, the first home was built in 1926 and it was not until ten years later in 1936 that only the third home was complete.

Fortunes for Cherokee Park began to turn however an in 1940 there was strong interest in the community. The 40's brought more significant change to the neighborhood when the are was redrawn to include the familliar streets we see today of South Dr. North Drive and Northwest Drive.

The last major change to Cherokee Park was during the 1960s when the final owner of the landmark Cherokee Lodge home sold the property along with the 12 acres of land it sat on, for redevelopment. After the sale the canal was built and the Cherokee park we see today was complete.

While the complete vision of Brown never really took shape, the overall idea of a premier bayfront community that maintained a high quality of life for it's residents certainly succeeded. Today Cherokee Park is one of Sarasota's premier neighborhoods

Like other historical neighborhoods west of the trail, some of the communities history shows through today in the pleasing eclectic mix of homes. Featuring a large variety of styles from boom time revival to post World War II modern and yes even a handful of Spanish Mediterranean homes as well.

While homes in Cherokee park do come onto the market with some frequency, they usually do not stay for sale very long. If you are interested in purchasing a home in this exceptional west of the trail neighborhood, contact Murray Realty and put our experience with Sarasota Luxury real estate for you.


To learn more about Cherokee Park, contact Bev Murray of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty