The Field Club Foundation
A Sense of Place
The special nature of The Field Club has come about in no small measure because of the facilities it occupies. Originally the winter home of Stanley and Sarah Carroll Brown Field, it was designed by David Adler, architect for some of Chicago’s most important and historic families. There is in these buildings and on these grounds a sense of place, and through the years that place has brought us together and helped shape our perspective on the world around us.
The history of these surroundings is rich with interesting personalities and fascinating stories. Our community has lost too many architecturally and historically significant buildings already. It is incumbent upon us to preserve this Sarasota treasure, included on the National Register of Historic Places, and ensure its continued influence on our lives and on those who will come after us.
The Field Club Foundation was formed for this purpose. It is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit corporation which raises funds for the preservation of the historic buildings on the grounds of The Field Club. The overall concept of The Field Club Foundation is to enable those who are willing and able to contribute something extra toward the preservation of these magnificent structures the opportunity to do so. The Field Club Foundation is grateful to the hundreds of members who have already contributed in this manner.
David Adler was considered one of the most gifted of the “great house” architects,completing a record 43 of them during his lifetime for people such as William McCormick Blair, Marshall Field, Stanley Field and Potter Palmer. These “great houses” were structures of generous size and elegant design dependent on a sizable staff for maintenance. Adler’s personal attention to the environmental site and finishing details earned him a reputation for related landscape and interior design.
Construction of the Field home began in 1925 using teams of mules and took two years to complete. Little Sarasota Bay figured prominently in his 18th-century Spanish villa style design of the Field home. He created a lagoon, and he arched the main part of the house over a canal, creating a merging of architecture, setting and climate. The Fields named their home “Wealake” or “laughing waters.” Adler followed his structural plan with meticulous design of interior details such as doors, grill work and windows. The entrance to the 16-acre estate was through a two-story gate house, designed in the same style as the main house. The Fields wintered every year in the home from 1927-1957. It was purchased by a group of Sarasota citizens to create a private club and preserve this significant architectural and historic property.