Explore Venice History

Although many buildings in the downtown area look old, only those constructed during the 1920’s have been included in this tour. In 1987 the city recognized the need to continue the architectural character of the original city and established the Architectural Review Board. The downtown area is part of the Historic Venice District administered by this Board. Any new construction or modifications to the exterior façade of a building in this district must conform to guidelines established by this Board. These standards will ensure the continuation of the “Northern Italian Renaissance” style of architecture within the city. Because of these efforts, the City of Venice will continue to be the beautiful "City on the Gulf".

221-223 W. Miami Avenue: The Wimmers Building

221 23 W Miami Ave

This building was constructed in 1926 and named for its first tenant H. N. “Bud” Wimmers. He was a Cleveland-born veteran of World War I who was the assistant cashier for Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) Cooperative National Bank in Cleveland, Ohio.

He arrived in Venice in February 1926 and, for a while, was paymaster for the BLE hired work crews building the city. In December 1926, he was appointed to the town council after Venice was chartered by the Florida Legislature as a “town.” The first councilmen and mayor were all BLE men. In the spring of 1927, the BLE petitioned the Legislature to change the municipal designation from “town” to “city.” In December 192 7 the city held its first election and Wimmers was defeated in his bid for election. When the BLE Realty Corporation failed in 1928, he was appointed receiver. Following the collapse of the BLE Venice development, Wimmers remained in Venice and opened a real estate office in this building, said to be the first in Venice.

Historical documentation provided by:
Venice Heritage Inc.
Photographs provided by:
Venice Museum & Archives

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