Restored Selby House at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens opens

December 9, 2019

SARASOTA, FL – December 6, 2019:   Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby Gardens) announces the completion of the exterior restoration efforts of the Selby House. As the first step in plans to preserve and safeguard the institution, the restoration made the historic Selby House building more resilient to hazardous wind and weather conditions. The preservation of the Selby House is a key component of preserving Selby Gardens’ history and legacy.

The Selby House, a two-story, Spanish-style home built in the early 1920s, was Marie and William Selby’s original home on their property. Upon her passing in 1971, Marie Selby bequeathed her home and seven acres to the community with the intent for it to become a botanical garden “for the enjoyment of the general public.”

“We are thrilled to announce the completion of the exterior restoration efforts of the Selby House,” says Jennifer Rominiecki, President & CEO of Selby Gardens. “As the original home of our namesake and founder, the home represents an integral part of our institution’s legacy. It is only fitting that we took steps to safeguard it for the future while also preserving its historic integrity.”

The restoration was funded by the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation.

“We are thrilled to invest in the restoration of William and Marie Selby’s original home,” says Carol Butera, President and CEO of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation. “It is a beautiful and important piece of Sarasota’s history, and ensuring this legacy is preserved for generations to come is a true benefit to the Sarasota community and beyond.”

Local architects Hall Darling Design Studio and local construction firm Ball Construction, Inc.  led the restoration efforts.

“It was a pleasure to consult on this most important contribution to our community,” says of Chris Wenzel, designer for Hall Darling Design Studio. “ The exterior rehabilitation of the original Selby residence brought many surprises and challenges.  Through research and investigation, solutions were proposed that restored both the historical and physical integrity of the building.  During our process to plan for the rehabilitation of the exterior envelope, the most surprising discovery was the unique construction technique and use of materials for the 1920 era residence. We are grateful for our relationship with Selby Gardens.”

Photo Credit: Hall Darling Design Studio

“It was an honor and a privilege to work on an iconic building such as the Marie Selby house,” says Adam Fergeson, Field Superintendent at Ball Construction, Inc. “The team at Selby Gardens were a pleasure to work with, as were Hall Darling Design Studios, and cooperation between all parties really made the project run smoothly. I believe that we have created a look to the house that Marie Selby would be proud of. I look forward to working with Selby Gardens in the future on more projects like the Marie Selby house historical restoration.”

The restorations brought the historically registered home up to wind codes, re-applied stucco consistent with the original surface, and re-tiled the roof. Inside of the house, an exhibition about Marie Selby and her family was re-installed and after expanding it to include those who worked for the family. The Kids Corner and the Selby House Cafe also reopened in the historic home.

For more information, please contact Lynn Bates at or 941-366-5731 Ext. 225.