Sarasota Creators, TRM

Thomas Reed Martin, Architect

Thomas Reed Martin (TRM) was born in Wisconsin in 1866 and moved to Chicago with his family in 1883. While in Chicago he apprenticed with the architectural firm of Holabird and Roche – the firm that Bertha Palmer commissioned to design her Florida home.

In 1910 at the age of 27, TRM first came to the area to oversee the construction of Bertha Palmer’s home in Osprey. Mrs. Palmer decided against the original home design and TRM designed “The Oaks” (no longer standing) a more modest home for her that was built at Historic Spanish Point.

After completing his work with Mrs. Palmer, TRM went back to Chicago to gather his family and permanently move to Florida. He became a general mercantile in what is now known as Nokomis (at the time known as Venice). He began working in design and development again in 1922 and in 1924 he moved to Sarasota and opened Martin and Hosmer Studios with architect Clare Hosmer.

Sarasota Municipal Auditorium

TRM’s aesthetic was described as a Modernist interpretation of Mediterranean Revival style. He designed over 500 homes in the area including the bungalows of Burns Court. In addition to all of these homes, TRM also designed the Chidsey Building, the Municipal Auditorium, and the Roth Cigar Factory.

Chidsey Library Building

Thomas Reed Martin passed away in early 1949, but the influence of his architectural design is a daily reminder of the style and creativity of Sarasota County.

Learn more about our Sarasota Creators series.