Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Circus History Then, Affordable Prices Now

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Circus History Then, Affordable Prices Now

Article excerpt

When the circus moved down the Tamiami Trail to Venice in 1960, a more conventional kind of lifestyle came to the locale when the Paver Construction Co. started work on a planned neighborhood that would eventually become 199 single-family suburban homes, named Glen Oaks Estates. A plaque at the subdivision's entrance tells the circus story.

As it took shape in the 1960s and closed out construction by 1980, Glen Oaks exemplified what civic leaders and local developers had in mind for modern living. The first homes to go up in 1963 are compact ranches, some wood-clad, with central air-conditioning, eight-foot popcorn ceilings and one-car garages. Homes of the 1970s tend to be 2,000 square feet and have three bedrooms and a two-car garage, although the pesky popcorn ceilings remained a bad-fad feature and is something that subsequent homeowners have been diligently scraping away after they buy or before they sell.

All of the homes are on quarter-acre lots, meaning buyers can expect generous front and back yards. The homes are not close together.

Renee Gluvna, who is secretary of the Glen Oaks Estates homeowners association (dues are $90 a year), is typical of the kind of person who was initially attracted to the neighborhood. And once moved in, she has stayed to help maintain its appeal with proper maintenance and good curb appeal of the communal spaces.

"My husband and I were married in 1974 in Cleveland, Ohio, and two years later, we decided to trade in white-snow skies for blue ones," she said. "We moved to Sarasota and rented for a year so that we could become familiar with different parts of town.

"After a lot of looking, we bought a lot in Glen Oaks Estates and built our three-bedroom house. It has some Spanish detailing that was popular at the time. We subsequently had a son and daughter who grew up in the house.

"Now we're empty-nesters and still loving this place. I can't think of anyplace else I'd rather live. I especially like that the houses aren't crowded together, there's nice space between everyone. The homes here are the right size for the lots, and there are lots of different styles of architecture. …

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