Thomas Reed Martin

Last updated
Thomas Reed Martin
Born(1866-04-28)April 28, 1866
DiedFebruary 1949 (1949-03) (aged 82)
Sarasota Municipal Auditorium Municipal-Auditorium-Townsend 83d40m shc.jpg
Sarasota Municipal Auditorium
Interior of Sarasota Municipal Auditorium Sarasota municipal auditorium 83d40m - dance 1950s truss system shown.JPG
Interior of Sarasota Municipal Auditorium
Roth Cigar Factory, Sarasota Sarasota FL Downtown HD Roth Cigar Factory01.jpg
Roth Cigar Factory, Sarasota
Courtyard of the Hacienda Hotel Hacienda Hotel courtyard.jpg
Courtyard of the Hacienda Hotel
Lemon Bay Woman's Club Lemon Bay Woman's Club.jpg
Lemon Bay Woman's Club

Thomas Reed Martin (born April 28, 1866 in Menasha, Wisconsin - died February 1949) was an architect who was brought to Florida by one of its major developers during the turn of the twentieth century. [1] He designed some 500 residences and various public and private buildings in Sarasota, as well as commercial buildings. [2] His Florida buildings are located from Tampa to Fort Myers with many in Nokomis.

Menasha, Wisconsin City in Wisconsin, United States

Menasha is a city in Calumet and Winnebago counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 17,353 at the 2010 census. Of this, 15,144 were in Winnebago County, and 2,209 were in Calumet County. The city is located mostly in Winnebago County; only a small portion is in the Town of Harrison in Calumet County. Doty Island is located partially in Menasha. The city's name comes from the Winnebago word meaning "thorn" or "island". In the Menominee language, it is known as Menāēhsaeh, meaning "little island". Menasha is home to the Barlow Planetarium and Weis Earth Science Museum, both housed at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley.

Florida State of the United States of America

Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.


He drew the original sketches for the home of Mable and John Ringling, but the design by Dwight James Baum was selected by Mable Ringling and built by Owen Burns after Martin declined a fee reduction proposed by John Ringling. [2]

John Nicholas Ringling is the best known of the seven Ringling brothers, five of whom merged the Barnum & Bailey Circus with their own Ringling Bros World's Greatest Shows to create a virtual monopoly of traveling circuses and helped shape the circus into what it is today. In addition to owning and managing many of the largest circuses in the United States, he was also a rancher, a real estate developer and art collector. He was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 1987.

Dwight James Baum (1886–1939) was an American architect most active in New York and in Sarasota, Florida. His work includes Cà d'Zan, the Sarasota Times Building (1925), Sarasota County Courthouse (1926), early residences in Temple Terrace, Florida, Sarasota County Courthouse (1927), Pinecroft, West Side YMCA on 63rd Street between Central Park and Columbus Avenue, Columbus Circle (1934) and Hendricks Memorial Chapel.

Owen Burns American businessman

Owen Burns was born in Fredericktown in Cecil County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He was an entrepreneur, banker, builder, and land developer who at one time owned the majority of Sarasota, Florida and developed or built many of its historic structures, developments, roads, seawalls, and bridges. He became a leader in the community, contributing to its growth and development. He also played briefly for wicklow hockey club.

Many of Martin's buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). He was listed as a Great Floridian in 2000. [3]

National Register of Historic Places federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.


Martin was the son of William Davidson Martin and Myra Martin. His family was part of the construction business for generations. [3] He graduated from high school in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, he moved with his family to Chicago in 1883. Thomas married Sadie W. Coffin on February 19, 1890. They had three sons and a daughter. [3]

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin City in Wisconsin, United States of America

Beaver Dam is a city in Dodge County, Wisconsin, United States, along Beaver Dam Lake and the Beaver Dam River. The estimated population was 16,564 in 2016, making it the largest city primarily located in Dodge County. It is the principal city of the Beaver Dam Micropolitan Statistical area. The city is adjacent to the Town of Beaver Dam.

Martin was first employed as a draftsman with Global Machinery Co. in Chicago. He apprenticed with the architectural firm of Holabird and Roche in Chicago. At that firm, Martin met Chicago socialite and art patron, Bertha Palmer, the widow of Chicago real estate developer Potter Palmer. Palmer commissioned Holabird and Roche to design her large winter home in Sarasota. Sketches for the house bear Martin's trademark signature. [3] She soon would become one of the largest landholders in Florida and she also became renowned for her real estate developments and the introduction of revolutionary agricultural and ranching practices in Florida.

Bertha Palmer American art collector

Bertha Palmer was an American businesswoman, socialite, and philanthropist.

At the age of forty-four, Martin came to the Sarasota area from Chicago to work for Palmer in the fall of 1910. He was joined by his wife and children in 1911. [3] He set up his own practice, which flourished throughout the Florida land boom of the 1920s. Among the five hundred homes Martin designed in the Sarasota area, many are considered "Floridian" style homes which use glass block and formed concrete embellished with Mediterranean Revival features. [4]

In the 1930s he and his son, Clarence, were the architects for the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. It was a federal economic stimulus project.

Some Florida designs

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  1. "This Week Newsletter - April 28, 2010". Sarasota History Alive!. April 28, 2010. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  2. 1 2 Bubil, Harold (October 5, 2013). "Thomas Reed Martin, and enduring architecture". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Hartig, Mikki (June 18, 2011). "Architect Thomas Reed Martin and Sarasota". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  4. "Great Floridians". Florida Department of Historical Resources. State Division of Historical Resources. Archived from the original on February 11, 2011.