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“Las Olas and Boca Grande truly were an escape to live a more low-key life than the rest of the year.” March/April 2017 GASPARILLA ISLAND 95 see the intact great room, a jaw-dropping, rustic design in all-over cypress (mantel, walls and wood- beamed cathedral ceiling). Intricate wood carvings range from shell pediments and rope motifs to ships doors, skulls and swords as makeshift picture storybooks of Gasparilla’s adventurous past. Legend goes that the doors hail from the Boca Grande Yacht Club founded by Francis along with a handful of men including J.P. Morgan, Jr. and Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors during a dinner party. Oddly, the club only met that single night, which probably explains how these marvelous specimens remain in pristine condition. They couldn’t have found a better home considering Francis’ love for the water, whether fishing, sailing his yacht–a two-masted schooner christened Cleopatra’s Barge II after his ancestor’s famous 19th-century boat – or for enjoying the unobstructed views of the white sand beach and azure blue Gulf from nearly every room in his house. A Renaissance man, Francis spent much of his time in front of an easel in his onsite studio. The Noyes family pays homage to his creativity, as well as Louise’s fine taste, through restored and commissioned works of art and design. Francis’s painting, “Pelican Gate to Las Olas,” inspired iron gates forged in nearby Sarasota. Ancient shark’s teeth dot outdoor tile mosaics by Italian artisans; whimsical collages appear around the pool and shallow entrance steps, but most ingeniously, as square panels whose vibrant colors and textured patterns break up the classic, white cottage’s exteriors like works exhibited in a gallery. A silversmith’s double sink with a wave pattern commissioned by Louise was relocated to the kitchen, where the treasure is more prominently displayed for everyone to use and enjoy. The Noyes’ left out no detail, even preserving and embedding a brass, compass like medallion in a walkway. Their dedication and thoroughness would have pleased the Crowninshields to no end. Referred to as “lady bountiful,” Louise was a philanthropic powerhouse who founded Boca Grande’s namesake school, community center and health clinic. Unlike other members of her class during her era, she mingled with locals and championed children’s causes regardless of race. “Las Olas and Boca Grande truly were an escape to live a more low-key life than the rest of the year,” said Groff. G M


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