Article taken from Sarasota Herald Tribune
By CHRIS ANGERMANN
Correspondent
Published: Friday, August 19, 2011 at 5:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 6:51 a.m.

In 1924, Charles "Charley" Tyson came to town from Tennessee and started buying up undeveloped land in Sarasota south of Siesta Drive, from Osprey Avenue to the bridge. He called it "Granada" and drew up grandiose plans for turning the scrub palmetto into a thriving, upscale subdivision.

Locals had their doubts about the success of the project, but a year later, according to newspaper accounts, the area was "a beehive of energy, a picture of artistic merit, with a score or so of beautiful homes and broad boulevards in the making."

Tyson's vision for Granada included wide streets with names like Flores, Fortuna, Jacinto and Camino Real, reflecting his interest in the Spanish revival style popular in the 1920s. Construction and landscaping of a central park and water fountain, which were to be the focal point of the neighborhood, was completed early on.

Today, the Bonita Park Fountain remains the centerpiece of the entire neighborhood.

Surrounded by attractive foliage, it has a red stucco finish, a masonry cap and decorative finial. And when the fountain is operational, water streams into bowls from two lion masks. The City of Sarasota designated it a historic monument in 1994.

Like many other ambitious building projects at the time, Tyson's dream for Granada foundered with the collapse of the Florida land boom and the coming Depression, but interest in completing the subdivision never subsided completely. Between 1925 and the 1950s, a number of new homes were built. The neighborhood had regular social gatherings, an active garden circle and a bridge club.

A number of prominent residents made Granada their home, including Thomas Reed Martin, who built more than 500 structures throughout the county and who is often referred to as the "father of Sarasota architecture."

Reed loved the neighborhood. He built his residence, "Vineland," in the 1930s at Camino Real and Bay Road, where it stands to this day.

But it wasn't until the later 1950s that the subdivision was, for the most part, completed, although development continues to this day, and there are still a few empty lots.

The wide range of architectural styles reflects Granada's checkered history, and its canopy of large, mature trees and lush, tropical landscaping give the area a charming, Old Florida atmosphere.

Peggy Mock, a Realtor for Michael Saunders & Co., has been selling homes in the neighborhood for some time. She currently lists two homes and just sold Granada Park, an enclave that is being developed on Bay Road.

"I get calls daily," Mock said. "People drive around and get interested."

She believes the ongoing appeal is because of Granada's convenient location. Residents can bicycle to Siesta Beach or take a stroll along Osprey Avenue to Southside Village. The Westfield Southgate shopping mall is just up the street across U.S. 41.

"You don't always have to jump in a car to go somewhere," Mock said.

Because of its proximity to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the neighborhood is popular with physicians. But residents also include other professionals, retirees, and families with young children who like being close to Southside Elementary School.

"It's a very friendly atmosphere," Mock said. "People walk, walk their dogs and visit with one another. "I have talked with several people who lived there for some time, moved away and came back again."

Rates:

Craftsman

 The Craftsman Cottage is unfurnished 
and available for an Annual Lease.
$2300.00 per month plus utilities.

Six month lease (October to April)
$3000.00 per month plus utilities.

2 Bedrooms
1 Bathroom
Unfurnished (furniture shown to illustrate size)
Washer & Dryer
Heat/ Air Conditioning
Ceiling Fans throughout
Parking for 2 Cars
2 Outdoor Decks

                PARADISE ON THE GULF OF MEXICO

SIESTA KEY

BUNGALOWS

BUNGALOW

   Situated in the quiet and welcoming historical neighborhood of Granada located just over the North bridge to Siesta Key. Granada has a true sense of community and with sidewalks lining every street, there is always someone taking a walk.

   The Craftsman Cottage is a cozy two bedroom bungalow with one bathroom that has a large vanity and soaking tub and shower. It has a sun room just off of the living room with French doors which is perfect for a home office. 

   There are two secluded decks with lush plantings and privacy; one off the kitchen, perfect for a barbeque; and the second is off of the screened porch with a hot tub. It has a private driveway with plenty of space for two cars.

   There is a laundry room with a washer and dryer and plenty of storage. This home is int he award wining Southside Elementary School district.