If you live in Laurel Park, chances are good you’ve seen downtown Sarasota’s new police headquarters being built between Ringling Boulevard and the north end of Payne Park. What could have been another monstrosity inspired by strip malls has fortunately turned into something quite special. The architectural firm in charge of the project incorporated both elements of the celebrated Sarasota School of Architecture and enough green features to seek LEED certification. To top it off, final negotiations are underway to install a 40-foot remnant from floors 90-92 of the World Trade Center—a fitting tribute to and stark reminder of the dangers policemen and women can encounter.
Whether you live in Laurel Park, Gillespie Park, Alta Vista, or elsewhere in Sarasota, we at Laurel Park Management recommend stopping by to check out the new police headquarters. It is an impressive addition to the surprisingly rich architectural history of our humble hamlet. For more information check out the City of Sarasota website as well as this article from the Herald Tribune, an excerpt of which is below:
“We felt like we had an opportunity to do an urban sculpture,” said architect Ian Reeves, of Architects Design Group in Winter Park. Sculptural accents include a blue steel framework around the roofline, a Z-shaped exposed brace at the entry plaza, rectangular white braces on the west and north facades, and a second curtain wall on the south side, with rectangles cut into it to allow views for police officers.
“We had an opportunity to create a very civic facility in keeping with the Sarasota school (of architecture) premise,” Reeves added. “So we wanted to respect what has been done historically, but use modern materials that reflect the security and safety and survivability of a police department.”
It should be survivable. The building is the only structure in the city designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. It is considered so strong that the City of Sarasota has moved its computer servers to the top floor. Yes, there is a lot of glass. But each of those 1,976 energy-efficient windows are impact-resistant and weigh 300 pounds.
If the building appears to fit right in with the Payne Park recreational building to the southeast, it is not coincidental. ADG, which specializes in public-service buildings, designed that structure, too.
“We have a 40-acre park as the master jewel of the downtown area,” said Reeves. “What an opportunity to be the backdrop.”