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.
After Barkus Furniture closed, the building was purchased by Sarasota County, which used it as a print shop.
It was looking tired (and ink stained) when the newly founded Center for Architecture Sarasota approached the County in 2013 with an idea for making it into, among other things, The Center for Architecture Sarasota headquarters.
The county agreed, and with funding from major donor and architecture enthusiast Nathalie McCulloch, the renovation began. The renovated Scott Building opened as the McCullough Pavilion in September 2015.
The McCulloch Pavilion received the American Institute of Architects Florida Chapter 2015 Honor Award for Historic Preservation/Restoration, their highest design award. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.
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.
Joseph 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. Farrell became a Principal at AHL in 1969. His projects received more than 40 design awards and honors, including the Governor of Hawaii’s Architectural Arts Award, which recognized architects who have produced projects that define “Hawaiian Architecture.” Joseph Farrell returned to Sarasota and is an active member of CFAS.
William 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.
The McCulloch Pavilion is a significant and rare surviving example of commercial architecture. Clarence Scott commissioned Rupp and Farrell to design a commercial building that would serve as the new showroom for the Barkus Furniture Company and include three separate units that could be leased as offices. Scott was interested in incorporating new technologies, such as precast concrete roof panels, and Rupp and Farrell were able to satisfy this request beautifully. The building is a one-story commercial structure designed in the International Style with a flat roof and open floor plan. The space measures approximately 7100 sq. ft., and features a precast concrete structural system with terrazzo floors and exposed masonry, supports, and columns. There is a 7-foot overhang on Orange Avenue and 9-foot overhangs on Morrill Street and the north side of the building to protect the openings. The overhangs feature articulated precast hollow “I” sections developed by Farrell.
The McCulloch Pavilion was sensitively preserved and brought to a higher and better use by the award-winning team of Guy Peterson I Office for Architecture and builder Michael K. Walker and Associates, Inc. in consultation with Joe Farrell.
Guy Peterson | Office for Architecture expertly preserved the building’s significant architectural heritage while adapting the building for the programmatic requirements of CFAS and the UF CityLab Sarasota. Years of insensitive renovations and adaptations were removed to expose the simple and elegant structural details and open floor plan. The three separate rental units were combined as one large studio for the UF CityLab Sarasota program. The overhangs were painted a sky blue from the Le Corbusier color palette-an idea developed by Peterson to enhance the structure and for bird deterrence. The building now contains a gallery space, studio, lecture hall and office space for the organizations in the building.