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The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce the completion of a major renovation of the Hermitage House, the oldest structure on its historic campus, built in 1907. Much of the work was donated or funded through government and local organizations, as well as individuals. The projects were sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources and the State of Florida, The Frances T. Bourne Fund, Lola G. Hanna Fund and the unrestricted fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Tom and Annette Dignam, Jim Klepser, Judith Hydeman and Hermitage Trustee Joy P. Rogers. Services were also donated by Seibert Architects and engineers Hees and Associates. Ball Construction donated its profit. A reception to thank the donors will be held on June 7th.

“This was a wonderful public/private partnership, where the State of Florida joined with a local community foundation, private businesses and loyal Hermitage donors to preserve an important Florida building,” remarked Bruce E. Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage. “We are well known for the creative energy and inspiration we provide our artists-in-residence. Our mission also states a commitment to historic preservation. We are very proud to have been able to complete this project and thank all those whose generous support helped make that possible.”

The project included replacement and repairs needed in all the common use first floor areas of the Hermitage House. Specifically that entailed replacing the hardwood floors, repairing the chimney and fireplace, fixing the screen porch and its floor, and painting the walls and ceilings. Project architect was Sam Holladay of Seibert Architects. Project engineer was Karl Hees of Hees and Associates. Contractors included Pat Ball and Ball Construction, Inc.; Bill Shanley; James Klepser and Certa Pro painters.

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by the Women’s Exchange and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098 or visit the website at

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