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Public votes will determine whether local property is Journal's House of the Year By Harold Bubil Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 1:00 a.m.
Architect Clifford Scholz, no stranger to winning awards, admits he was more than a little surprised when a house he designed was named a Wall Street Journal's House of the Week last year. That same Longboat Key residence is now a finalist for the newspaper's House of the Year honor, which will be decided through online
PHOTOS / GREG WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY
voting by readers. Balloting began Dec. 23 and
The Longboat Key home that is in the running for the Wall Street Journal's House of the Year
will continue through Monday.
faces the end of a cul de sac.
“Anytime someone has an accolade for you, it is nice,” Scholz said. “We are not a high-profile company, and I really do enjoy the recognition. The Wall Street Journal is a great newspaper, so it is an honor.” The Scholz-designed house — one of four Florida houses among finalists — is at 560 Harbor Point Drive, in the Bay Isles South neighborhood on the key. It last sold in May 2013 for $4.75 million, through Premier Sotheby's International Realty, after being on the market for six weeks. It was listed at $5.2 million when it was The Journal's “House of the Day” on Jan. 22, 2013. The seller, retired advertising firm owner Tim Clarke, had boosted the house's visibility by advertising it in the Journal. The Palladian-inspired house has four bedrooms and five baths and measures 5,041 square feet, according to county records. Overlooking the expanse of Sarasota Bay, it was built in 2011 by Murray Homes. “This waterfront home in a gated community in Florida includes a deepwater dock and a 'beautiful spot to reflect,' ” the Journal's Stefanos Chen wrote. The Clarkes started building the home in 2010 and completed it the following year, the Journal wrote. “They were looking for a 'timeless' design, Mr. Clarke said, and took inspiration from the Palladian style, characterized by arched central windows and symmetry.” What makes the place so special in the Journal's eyes? The house is on a cul-de-sac in the gated bayfront Bay Isles community behind two security gates. It has deeded access to a nearby private beach club on the Gulf of Mexico, almost 200 feet of waterfront and the protected, deep-water yacht slip. Scholz said the design was driven by the views through trimmed mangroves on one side of the house, and of the Sarasota skyline on the other. “It is a beautiful home,” he said. “It was one of those properties that had such clearcut views. We were able to twist the house and still get it to come out looking like a
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nice, relaxed, Georgian-style home. It fits on the property perfectly and the views are really knockout.” The floor plan includes several spaces for entertaining, such as a formal living room, dining room, family room, gourmet kitchen, waterfront screened porch, waterfront terraces and his- and-hers offices,” said the MLS listing summary written by Premier Sotheby's. Scholz is known and respected for his classically inspired architecture, even by peers who prefer a different “design language.” “Cliff and I do vastly different work,” said architect Guy Peterson, an avowed modernist. “But the work he does, he does very well.” Scholz said his appreciation of classical architecture was developed during a 15-year association with architect Bo McEwen, the designer of The Oaks luxury community in Osprey. He said McEwen was his biggest design influence. The local home will need more votes to take the top accolade. A mansion on Lake Tahoe, Nev., is the current leader for House of the Year honors, with 19,051 votes. The House of the Week is produced by Wall Street Journal editors and reporters who review listings across the country and interview homeowners, according to WSJ.com. Homes are chosen for their design, market or storyline.
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Published on Apr 9, 2014