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Venice Train Depot

303 E Venice Ave, Seaboard Avenue, Venice, FL 34285-4617
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Interesting

Be sure to go when they give tours. It is not actually a tour but information about the history of... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
dalgal14
,
rochester ny
Neat place

We were lucky enough to have 3 docents on duty when we arrived. 2 very knowledgeable, retired... read more

Reviewed May 7, 2018
Donna G
,
Satellite Beach, Florida, United States
via mobile
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Free Train Depot Tours are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 am - 3 pm November 1st through April 30th. This is in addition to our year-round tours available on Saturdays from 10 am - 1 pm. Docents are VAHS members. In 1903, a subsidiary of the Seaboard Air Line Railway brought the first train into what is now Sarasota County. In 1911, the tracks were extended 16.5 miles south at the request of Bertha Honore Palmer, a Chicago businesswoman who was a major landholder in the area. Palmer named the new terminal Venice. The original train stop and sidings were located near the current corner of St. Augustine Avenue and Tampa Avenue West. In 1925, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) purchased land to develop the City of Venice according to a plan drafted by city planner John Nolan. The BLE recognized that a new depot would be essential for importing materials and attracting potential land buyers and visitors to Venice. Completed in 1927 at the height of Venice's early development, the new Depot was the last structure built before the BLE closed operations in Venice in 1928. Designed by the architectural firm of Walker & Gillette, the Depot is historically and architecturally significant. Built as a racially segregated building with two waiting rooms, it was 50 feet wide and 400 feet long. The Depot's architecture embodies the Mediterranean Revival style planned for the City of Venice. When opened on March 27, 1927, the Depot heralded as the finest station on the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The last passenger train departed from the Depot in 1971, but freight traffic continued until 1997. The Depot building closed in 1975, and it subsequently fell into disrepair and decline. Sarasota County purchased the structure in 1999 and renovated it in 2002-2003. Dedicated on October 24, 2003, the restored Depot stands as a magnificent representation of the architecture of early Venice. The renovation added 40 feet on the south side of the building, and the additional space accommodates the Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) bus system hub at the Depot.
  • Excellent42%
  • Very good33%
  • Average16%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible6%
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303 E Venice Ave, Seaboard Avenue, Venice, FL 34285-4617
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"legacy trail"
in 5 reviews
"circus history"
in 2 reviews
"the ringling brothers circus"
in 2 reviews
"docent"
in 7 reviews
"bridge"
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"enthusiasts"
in 4 reviews
"role"
in 2 reviews
"photographs"
in 2 reviews
"bathroom"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 61 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

Be sure to go when they give tours. It is not actually a tour but information about the history of the place. Then you can go on a self-guided tour of the grounds. Quick, easy and informative

Thank dalgal14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2018 via mobile

We were lucky enough to have 3 docents on duty when we arrived. 2 very knowledgeable, retired educators were on duty at the depot when we arrived. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and hearing their input. For the time being it is only open on...More

Thank Donna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2018

Someone told me there are Art shows monthly here. No info on that. Does anyone have information to help me?More

Thank Pfluga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VAHS, Volunteer at Venice Train Depot, responded to this reviewResponded May 7, 2018

We're sorry someone misinformed you about Art Shows at the Depot. We do, however, offer great tours of the Train Depot on Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm year-round and November through April M-W-F from 10 am to 3 pm. We have exhibits and displays...More

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 5, 2018

I wanted to photograph this historic station's exterior, so I went on Sunday when it was closed and free of people, other than a few vagrant homeless.

Thank David_B50499
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2018

Just got charged $25 cleaning fee for the Venice Train Depot baby shower by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources employee Dorian Hardy who said she had " personally checked the room" which has cookie pieces and a lot of debris under and around...More

Thank Kc Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2018

This could be a very nice place, but the homeless people have taken over. I am afraid to go into the restrooms. Even the restroom by the playground is bad. Recently, there was a lot of what I assumed to be drug related garbage under...More

Thank Donna I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2018 via mobile

Train Depot was listed in a visitors guide as being open from 10 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. Our party of 3 arrived at 10:05 and met another group of 5 waiting to go in. Sign on door confirmed 10 am opening. We waited...More

Thank Cindy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VAHS, Volunteer at Venice Train Depot, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2018

Cindy-we are very sorry for your experience. We didn’t have a docent available last Saturday. Unfortunately, we don’t have a way to notify potential visitors in advance should this happen. We sincerely hope you will have another opportunity to visit the Depot. It is very...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2018

The tour was interesting and full of information. I have lived in Venice since 1981 and learned several new things. We were energized, looking forward to visiting more Venice Historical Sites. The people sleeping on the ground at 11 am in the morning were an...More

Thank Bluebells411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2018

Good way to understand the history of the city. It has a unique past and the docent made it interesting and fun. More there than I expected. Free and informative.

Thank Debra-Dina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2017

Thought it was a train enthusiast museum for our friend but no trains, however it was a fascinating inside to the history of venice

Thank a4be
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Questions & Answers
Garry S
September 29, 2016|
Answer
Response from dthorpeiii | Reviewed this property |
The Depot is open •year-round on Saturday from 10 AM to 1 PM, with the last docent-led tour beginning at 12:30, and •November through April on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM, with the last docent-led tour... More
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