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Building Conservation Associates


Location: Sarasota, Florida
Original Architect: Dwight James Baum
Year Built: 1926

Located in Sarasota, Florida, Ca’d’Zan is the former winter residence of John and Mabel Ringling. Designed by Dwight James Baum, the mansion and estate were constructed from 1924-1926. Ca’ d’Zan, which means House of John in Venetian, is a contributing element in the Caples’-Ringlings' Estates Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. John Ringling was one of five brothers internationally known for their ownership of "The Greatest Show on Earth", the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Combined Circus. Ca’ d’Zan is a Venetian style palazzo constructed of richly ornamented, polychromatic glazed terra cotta. Associated outbuildings on the estate maintain either the Venetian or the more general Mediterranean Revival idiom. The historic mansion now houses a decorative arts museum.

The project involved a complete restoration of the building interior and exterior. BCA was restoration consultant, overseeing the restoration design. BCA conducted a hands-on conditions assessment of the historic fabric, made treatment recommendations and prepared construction documents for the restoration scope, including repairs to some 3,000 terra cotta blocks. BCA also provided construction administration services.