The Venice and Sarasota area has quite a few Historic Places
Some people say that Florida (or America) has no real history and, therefore, no Historic Places and Buildings. Well, this is true - and probably untrue at the same time. It depends on how you want to see it. Compared to Europe there are no castles and other impressive superstructures dating many hundred years - or thousand years - back in history.
The North American Indians had no interest in building massive structures made of stone. Most of them were nomadic people and lived in tents. They followed their food source or changed places due to the seasons of the year. If you want to move quickly from one location to another one, you prefer to live in tents. That is just a different way of living.
Therefore, when talking about the Indian history in Florida, the only relics of the Calusa Indians are shell mounds, pottery items, tools and maybe their bones, and bones of their prey. Everything else is gone -forever.
The European Settlers had already different Ideas
The first European settlers who came to North America used wood to build their new homes. Wood was everywhere, and trees had to go anyway to make room for future farmland. Wood was relatively easy to transport from one place to another, and it was much easier to handle than stone or brick. In the beginning, they even built the big Forts with timber. Only hundreds of years later, wood was partially replaced by stone and concrete.
Now, this brings us to the difference between the European and American history. While the castles overlooking the River Rhine are still there after so many centuries, the tents and wooden structures of the first Americans are long gone. Unlike in America, there is not an abundance of Wood in Europe. The Romans had already turned huge parts of their land into a desert-like environment. They needed the wood for their massive wooden fleet of sailboats.
Cutting trees is easy, regrowing is not and takes a while. To make a virtue out of necessity, the building material for houses and castles in Europe had to be brick and mortar.
Old Castles and Very Old Castles
The Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine is the oldest masonry Fort in the continental United States and was started in late 1600; the people began to build the oldest castle in Germany, Meersburg Castle or "The Burg," in the 7th century. That was way before the people realized that there might be another piece of land on the other side of the globe.
Besides St Augustine and a few other places, the observable history in Florida, and particular in the Sarasota are, begins with the late 19th century. There are some shell mounts here and there, but when talking about historical buildings, 150 -200 years back is already "history." List of historic buildings in Sarasota.
There are not too many homes left from that period. Most of them are either museums themselves or they are part of a museum area. The "Historic Spanish Point" is one of the places where you can examine some homes of the past. They are small and relatively uncomfortable by our today's standard, and you may not want to live in such a home. However, people who lived during that time were probably happy to have a roof over their head.
Where can you find Historic Homes?
Some historic homes which are for sale date back to the 1920's and earlier, many are from the 1920 - 1950's and later. You have homes like that in the Sarasota Museum area, on the Island of Venice or in the historic district of Punta Gorda. Most of them are standing in clusters. Those clusters are representing the former downtown area. Very few historic homes are singled out; most of them fell victim to new developments.
There was a time when all the "old stuff" had to make room for "new stuff." Those were the 1960's/1970's when nobody thought about preserving old buildings. Today we have a new movement, and more and more people realize that it is worth the time, effort and money that needs to be put in, to preserve the legacy of the people who coined this beautiful area.