Located in downtown Sarasota, the Scott Building is a significant surviving example of commercial architecture that was completed during the period of time that has since become known as the Sarasota School of Architecture.
In 1959 Clarence Scott commissioned award-winning and nationally recognized architects William Rupp and Joseph Farrell to design a commercial building that would serve as the new showroom for the Barkus Furniture Company. The building is a one-story commercial structure designed in the International Style with a flat roof and open floor plan featuring a precast concrete structural system with terrazzo floors and exposed masonry, supports and columns.
Rupp and Farrell began their careers together in the early 1950s as assistants to renowned architect Paul Rudolph. The two men assisted Rudolph during a period in which he created some of his most celebrated Florida structures, including the Hiss Umbrella House and the Walker Guest House. Both Rupp and Farrell received Bachelor’s degrees in Architecture from the University of Florida in the 1950s, and they commenced practice together as associated architects in 1959. Although their collaborative practice only lasted a little over two years, they earned national recognition and awards for projects such as the Uhr Residence-Studio in Sarasota and the Caladesi National Bank in Dunedin.
Farrell relocated to Hawaii in 1961, and spent most of his career there designing buildings in Hawaii and around the Pacific where he received numerous national and international awards. Rupp continued to practice in Florida until 1967, completing projects such as the dining pavilion for the Ringling Museum of Art and multiple residences in Naples and Sarasota. In 1962 Life magazine included Rupp in its special issue: “The Takeover Generation – The 100 Most Outstanding Young Men and Women in the United States.” He moved his practice to New York and Massachusetts in the late 1960s and 1970s, and spent his last years teaching as a professor of art and architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The legacies of Farrell and Rupp as important masters in the Sarasota School of Architecture remain preserved in this building, one of the last remaining commercial or public projects in Sarasota designed by either of the architects.