Since this is school vacation week and I had to work in Miami for a couple of days, I flew the kids down to their grandparents’ and now I am taking a few days “off” in sunny Florida.  As most of you know, I’m never completely off…I’m always taking care of email and keeping my eyes open for doors of interest.

When I didn’t find any blog-worthy doors in Miami Beach (besides my hotel room), I received an email suggesting that I Google “AIA Florida Top 100” to find some potential buildings to visit.  I did, and what a great resource!  You can look at the buildings by city, and when I looked in Sarasota I found the Ca’ d’Zan mansion at the Ringling Museum.  This had already been recommended as a place for us to visit, so off we went.

It’s a great museum, the grounds were beautiful, lots of cool circus stuff to see as well as an art museum.  But the mansion was my favorite.  Completed in 1925 at a cost of $1.5M, it was the home of John and Mabel Ringling.  It is 36,000 square feet, with 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms.  And best of all…unlike the Biltmore Estate, the Ringling mansion allows photographs.

This is the side entrance, now used as the main entrance for tours (In case you’re wondering, these have hinge pin stops!):


The front entrance has a wicket door:



There’s a fabric covered arched door with olive knuckle hinges:


Terrace doors – some have been modified from narrow pairs to a single with panic hardware (original bolts are still in place):



A vault door with combination lock:


Kitchen doors with Rixson #10 Duo-Cheks:

The elevator door:

This pair leading to the dining room is especially gorgeous:


The mansion has great exit markings:

Ornate iron gates, interior and exterior:


And finally, the circus museum building had some of the tallest sliders I’ve ever seen…so tall that the sensor would not pick up KZ and open the doors.  Either that, or her reputation preceded her.  😀

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