Venice is a city in Sarasota County, Florida. Venice consists of a large section of mainland, as well as Venice Island just off the coast. The city is located south of Nokomis and north of Englewood. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,748. It is noted for its large winter resident, or “snowbird” population and was voted in the top “10 Happiest Seaside Towns” by Coastal Living.
Venice is a principal city of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In the 1870s, Richard Roberts established a homestead near Roberts Bay. In 1884, he sold a portion of his holdings to Frank Higel. Higel established a citrus operation involving the production of several lines of canned citrus items, and for the next 30 years the Higel family members were boat builders, fishermen, grove caretakers and contractors. Darwin Curry was the first postmaster. The Higel and Curry families chose the name “Venice” for their community post office, located south of Shakett Creek on what is now Portia Street in the unincorporated community of Nokomis.
The first railroad to Venice was built in 1911, paving the way for new development and expansion. Development in Venice occurred slowly, and it remained a small fishing town and farming community through the first part of the 1920s. In 1925, Dr. Fred H. Albee, a well-known orthopedic surgeon, purchased 2,916 acres (11.80 km2) of land from the Venice-Sarasota Company. Albee had previously developed Nokomis and built its first luxury hotel, known as the Pollyanna Inn. Albee retained John Nolen, a world-renowned city planner, to design a city on his land. Fred Albee, however, did not have a chance to implement his city plan before he was approached with a proposal from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers to purchase his land in October 1925. The purchase was motivated by a desire by the BLE to increase the union’s assets and holdings in the area.
Venice is located at(27.0987, -82.4390).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43.1 km2), of which 15.3 square miles (39.5 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.5 km2), or 8.19%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,764 people, 9,680 households, and 5,362 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,948.8 inhabitants per square mile (752.1/km²). There were 13,516 housing units at an average density of 1,482.8 per square mile (572.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.14% White, 0.55% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.
There were 9,680 households out of which 7.0% had children under the age of 18, 49.2% were married couples, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 30.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.76 and the average family size was 2.25.
In the city the population was spread out with 6.9% under the age of 18, 2.3% from 18 to 24, 10.2% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 57.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 69 years. For every 100 females there were 76.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,536, and the median income for a family was $46,898. Males had a median income of $35,271 versus $26,132 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,220. About 3.7% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
Venice has been listed in many publications as being the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World.” It hosts the Shark’s Tooth Festival every year to celebrate the abundance of fossilized shark’s teeth that can be found on its coastal shores, as well as numerous craft and community festivals throughout the year.
Museums and other points of interest
The following structures and areas are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
- Armada Road Multi-Family District
- Blalock House
- Eagle Point Historic District
- Edgewood Historic District
- Hotel Venice
- House at 710 Armada Road South
- Johnson-Schoolcraft Building
- Levillain-Letton House
- Triangle Inn
- Valencia Hotel and Arcade
- Venezia Park Historic District
- Venice Depot
Theatre and music
- The Venice Theatre is the largest per capita community theater in the United States with an operating budget of almost three million dollars
- Venice Symphony