Entrance Project

The Secret is Out – The New Entrance to Historic Spanish Point
“Sarasota’s Best Kept Secret” completes major project

Historic Spanish Point announces that the new entrance and landscaping renovation of the National Register Historic Site and Visitors Center, formerly the Osprey School, is now complete. This three-year process included a major capital campaign to raise funds to match the generous donation of Stephen Wilberding and his late wife, Ann “Stevie” Wilberding. Thanks to sponsorship support from 35 individuals listed below, and foundations, the match to the donation was achieved and the work began with a ground-breaking on March 22, 2012. Work continued through the summer and was completed in August 2012.

Professionally designed by Sarasota landscape architect David W. Young, the improvements include beautiful landscaping, lighting, and signage surrounding the exterior of the Visitors Center and at the museum’s Tamiami Trail frontage. Local contractor J & T Holland, Inc. installed native trees, plants, and grasses. Enhancing the new plant material is a fully paved parking lot accented by brick pavers and boulders. A key feature of the US 41 side of the schoolhouse is the dazzling signage created by Berlin Sign Company. The contemporary metal sculpture enhances a new monument style sign.

“These improvements will help attract additional visitors to Historic Spanish Point, properly welcome members and their guests, demonstrate supporters’ pride in this unique historic site, and overall enhance the streetscape of our community,” notes board president Ann Moore. “Over 5,000 years of history are preserved on the 30 acre bayfront site comprised of prehistoric Indian middens, pioneer buildings, and Palmer Gardens. The museum offers something powerful and unique, educational and inspirational, to all ages.”

Work on the project took several months and proceeded during the summer rain and storm season. Operations of the museum and the Osprey Public Library, housed within the Osprey School, were not interrupted. Drivers along Tamiami Trail now see landscaping that encompasses the entire frontage of the property maintained by Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc. operators Historic Spanish Point. This improvement benefits the community of Osprey, which was named by Spanish Point pioneer John Webb when he applied for a post office for his homestead.

Historic Spanish Point is located at 337 North Tamiami Trail, (US Highway 41) in the Sarasota County, Florida community of Osprey. The Osprey School House, built in 1927, is where volunteers today greet visitors to the site who enjoy an orientation program, exhibits, and the museum shop. In addition, the Visitors Center is home to the Osprey Public Library branch of the Sarasota County library system.

The Board of Directors
of Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc.,
dedicates the entrance in memory of Stevie Wilberding
and thanks all project donors for their generous contributions:

Steve and Stevie Wilberding

Mr. Roland Abraham, Jr. – Lauritsen Family Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Stottlemyer – STABIL Concrete Pavers, LLC
Mr. and Mrs. John Lamacraft – Rita B. LaMere Memorial Foundation
Ms. Carolyn Keystone and Mr. Jim Meekison
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Stuhley – The Allyn Foundation, Inc.

Mr. John Mercurio – Mr. and Mrs. John B. Currie
Mrs. Ann Y. Moore – Ms. Mary Evelyn Guyton

Mrs. William Bahlman – Ms. Linda R. Getzen – Mr. and Mrs. Henry Tafaro

Mr. and Mrs. K. Judson Boedecker, Mr. and Mrs. David G. Bowman, Jr.,
Ms. Kristine B. Bundrant, Ms. Paula Clemow, Dr. Jen Cline and
Mr. Peter Currin, Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Dare, Mr. and Mrs. Paul G. Hudson,
Linda and Mike Mansperger, Dr. and Mrs. George L. Mims,
Northern Trust Bank, Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Noyes,
Mrs. Margaret A. Pennington, Mr. and Mrs. Gaylon T. Peters,
Mr. and Mrs. Gerald L. Peterson, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Rogers,
Dr. and Mrs. Bryan L. Smith, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Tyler,
Ms. Judy Rossmoore Veale, Mr. and Mrs. John Zwakman

We would like to thank the following for their
enthusiastic and expert project work:

Ms. Mary Evelyn Guyton, Task Force Chairman
Ms. Judy Rossmoore Veale, Sign Coordination

Planners, Designers, and Contractors:
DWY Landscape Architects – J. and T. Holland, Inc.
Berlin Sign Company – Seibert Architects, P.A.


What do you think inspired
the design of the museum’s
new main sign?

A)  The sparkling sunset over
beautiful Little Sarasota Bay
B) The sail on one of Historic Spanish Point’s historic reproduction boats
C) Both of the above



The correct answer is C