A Venice resident since 1983, Dorothy Korwek was the Venice Archives director for the past 11 years. She was instrumental in the preservation of the Triangle Inn. Her vast knowledge and dedication to the community have helped keep the area’s important history alive today. We salute Dorothy for her numerous years of service, and wish her the best in her retirement!
Here are a few gems of information provided by Dorothy:
Why is the building that houses the Archives of Venice unique?
The Triangle Inn building was originally constructed in 1927 to fit a triangular-shaped lot at the intersection of Nassau and Pensacola. It was a rooming house and a bed and breakfast inn; a home to piano teachers, secretaries, prospective land buyers, tarpon fishermen and visitors escaping the cold of the north. During World War II, it was home for the civilian employees of the Venice Army Air Base and married military personnel. After the war, it was a private home, and during the 1950s it was converted to six apartments. It was being used as a 5-unit apartment building when it was finally threatened with demolition to make room for a parking lot.
What saved the unique structure for posterity?
Thankfully, the structure was acquired by the city of Venice and moved in 1991 to its current location at 351 Nassau Street South, just west of the Venice Public Library and the Venice Community Center. Restoration and renovation were completed in 1996 with grant assistance from the Florida Department of State Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Historical Preservation, Sarasota County, City of Venice, The Venice Foundation, numerous private donations and many volunteer hours.
What kind of resources does Venice Archives store, and what’s available for public access?
There is a small museum on the first floor, and our permanent collection is on the second floor. Preservation and archeological journals and magazines, such as Venice Gulf Coast Living magazine, become a permanent addition to the Venice Archives Collection. Other resources include oral histories on audio cassette tape, VCR tapes of local events, old and new books indigenous to the area, school yearbooks, city tax ledgers, city directories and telephone books, postcards, maps, and so on. A carefully indexed collection of newspaper clippings on subjects such as the early settlers, city government, schools, churches, and economic development are available for the public to use for research. Any materials related to Venice and the communities of Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey whose histories have been interwoven from 1867 to the present are valuable to us, and we appreciate calls from residents who may have anything of interest.
When is the museum open?
January through April the museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The months of May through December hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday. For further information, please call 941-486-2487.
How can residents help with preservation?
The Triangle Inn Association is the “friends” group for the Venice Archives and Area Historical Collection. It’s a not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization guided by an elected Board of Directors and slate of officers to promote and sustain the historic landmark called the Triangle Inn, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Various membership categories are available with individual membership costing $15. Membership dues support the efforts of the archives to keep our community’s history alive for generations to come! After all, “How do you know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been?”
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