Sarasota News Leader

07/25/2014

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A sparse group of neighbors turned up for a discussion of the future of the Payne Park Auditorium on Tuesday evening, July 22. The Sarasota School of Architecture struc- ture was built in 1962 as a community meeting space for residents of the mobile home park that once surrounded it. Deciding the future of the structure is one of this year's strategic City of Sarasota objectives. The land was donated by the Payne family for a city park, and a spring training baseball sta- dium was built there in the 1920s with a space set aside for "tin-can tourists." People who started out in "tin- can trailers" became permanent residents in mobile homes, remaining on the site until the early 21st cen- tury, when they were slowly moved out so a large public park could be created in the cen- ter of Sarasota. Opening day for Payne Park was Oct. 6, 2007, when a well-attended citywide party intro- duced residents to the new facilities. A number of neighborhood associations and churches, as well as the Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations, cooperated with the city in the grand opening. The auditorium is now more than half a cen- tury old. Although it has been maintained, many of its mechanical Low-swept with high ceilings, the Payne Park Auditorium is a classic example of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Photo by Stan Zimmerman AUDITORIUM'S FATE DISCUSSED A NUMBER OF IDEAS ARE PROPOSED AT A MEETING ON A PAYNE PARK FACILITY, INCLUDING ALLOWING CITY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS TO MEET THERE, BUT THE CITY HAS NO BUDGET FOR RENOVATIONS Right now nobody knows what it looks like in here, and it's beautiful. Pat Kolodgy Former President Alta Vista Neighborhood Association By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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