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Daily Dream Home: Casa de Carnavale, a $12.5 Million Sarasota Mansion with a Colorful History
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Daily Dream Home: Casa de Carnavale, a $12.5 Million Sarasota Mansion with a Colorful History

McLean Robbins

If you’re on the market for a colorful residence with a rich history, this one’s for you.

Listed at $12.75 million by Premier Sotheby’s International Realty , Casa Del Carnevale dates back to 1936, when it was built for Lavoris Chemical Company co-founder Charles Leigh; it was the fifth house constructed on St. Armands. Leigh’s daughter, Marion Leigh McKennon, and her husband, Joe McKennon — who had a legacy with the Ringling Brothers Circus as well as Sarasota’s art and cultural scene — took ownership of the house in the 1950s.

The McKennons were performers who toured the country with a repertory theater company. Joe, a former military sergeant, also worked in many aspects of the circus during his lifetime. He served as an assistant curator of the Ringling Circus Museum and was the author of three historical books about the circus before his death in 2001. Marian, a former Red Cross nurse, sculptor, painter, producer, and marionette maker, was a socialite and longtime champion of the Sarasota Opera until her death in 1998.

“This architecturally significant home presents a rare opportunity to own a piece of Sarasota history. In addition to its storied past, this home has been updated utilizing the most exquisite materials and finishes. Its sought-after waterfront location and resort-style amenities offer a private luxury lifestyle,” says listing agent, Lisa Rooks Morris of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, Casa Del Carnevale boasts 171 feet of water frontage with a private dock and expansive views of Sarasota Bay. An extensive renovation has expanded the home to nearly 10,000 square feet (over 7,800 square feet under air), while still maintaining the integrity of its original design. The five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath estate boasts multiple terraces with exquisite vistas as well as an extraordinary central courtyard and Romanesque pool. Additional luxury appointments include a wine room, billiard room, elevator, and maid’s quarters. The elegant interiors have been adorned with custom tapestry, textile, mosaic, and artwork.

Throughout the home, exposed beams, warm wood tones, and natural stone complement custom ironwork and lend an intimate feel to generously apportioned rooms. The interior has been expertly curated with custom tapestry, textile, mosaic, antiques, and artwork.

Like the decor? That’s good – the home is also available fully or partially furnished.

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