Burns Court: Off the Beaten Path

The owner/builder of Burns Court, Mr. Owen Burns arrived in Sarasota in 1910 to take advantage of the excellent sport fishing.  By 1913, he and his wife Vernona had purchased the Halton Sanitarium to turn it into a beautiful home on the bay.  Soon afterward, he established the Burns Realty Company, as well as, the Burns Dredging Company.

He became a significant force in the development of the city, both in construction and real estate ventures.  He purchased more than 75% of the present city from John Hamilton Gillespie.

Burns Court was constructed in 1925 and designed by noted architect, Thomas Reed Martin.  Two of Owen Burns’ brothers made their home here, as did many up-and coming Sarasotans.  Young John Ringling North even sublet one of the 800 square foot houses, back when rent was $50 a month.  He was selling Ringling Isles lots for his uncle, John Ringling. The National Park Service awarded designation to Burns Court as an Historic District in 1984.

Burns also built the Pineapple Apartments at Herald Square at a cost of $75,000. The handsome efficiency apartments were located on the second floor, with stores including Tee Gee, a five-and-dime shop; and Freeman’s Drugs on the first floor.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive

For more information visit:

Burns Map
Burns Square Website
City Guide