Circus railroad car exhibit may roll to Venice
The Venice Area Historical Society is negotiating to acquire a former railcar used by the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus.
COURTESY: Venice Area Historical Society
By Dale White
from: herald tribune.com
February 14, 2013
VENICE - Although Venice may lose one landmark associated with its days as the winter headquarters of the Ringling Brothers and Barney & Bailey Circus, it stands to gain another.
The Venice Area Historical Society is in negotiations with Feld Entertainment, Palmetto-based owners of the circus, to acquire and restore one of the Pullman railcars used as sleeping quarters for its traveling performers.
If the deal goes through, the society will place the railcar on tracks at the historic train depot at 303 E. Venice Ave. that Sarasota County Area Transit uses as a bus station and refurbish it as an exhibit and visitor's center.
“We want to make this a tourist destination,” said society president Sue Chapman.
It comes as Venice is set to lose one of its legacies to the circus. Earlier this week, the city's chief building inspector told the City Council that, if it cannot be brought up to code within 60 days, the abandoned, deteriorated Circus Arena at the south end of Venice Island must be demolished. The arena is on land owned by the municipal airport.