Restoring the Ca d’Zan Mansion’s Decorative Terra Cotta Facade

In the heart of Sarasota, Florida lies a home that once belonged to the circus king and notorious art collector, John Ringling, and his wife Mable. Ca D’zan is located in close proximity to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art— Center for Asian Art, which has been written about in previous blogs. As two people who were profoundly fascinated by Italian architecture and aesthetics, the Ca d’Zan mansion was inspired by Venetian Gothic architecture. The forms are decorative in nature as the estate takes reference from the Doge’s Palace in Venice, which is a building whose majesty cannot be rivaled by style or grandeur. The home was built directly on the shore of the Sarasota Bay, providing the perfect viewing location of the natural vista.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta has been working closely to restore the terra cotta facade at the Ca D’zan and return it to its original splendor. The process of recreating these decorative forms requires Boston Valley to take the original pieces, scan them, and then using one or more of the forming methods to reproduce the terra cotta masonry units while still maintaining their original integrity.

Ca d'Zan, Ringling Museum of Art, John and Mable Ringling, Architectural Terra Cotta, Restoration, Venetian Revival, Sarasota, Florida

An original piece of the terra cotta facade from the Ca d’Zan residence.

 

Ca d'Zan, Ringling Museum of Art, John and Mable Ringling, Architectural Terra Cotta, Restoration, Venetian Revival, Sarasota, Florida

A detail of a terra cotta unit, the decorative elements of the building influence every piece of masonry.

 

Ca d'Zan, Ringling Museum of Art, John and Mable Ringling, Architectural Terra Cotta, Restoration, Venetian Revival, Sarasota, Florida

Multiple pieces of terra cotta awaiting a glaze firing.