Johann Fust Community Library
This historic architectural masterpiece was built in 1950 and renovated in 2013. Seibert Architects received an award from the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects. The architectural features of the building are many, but perhaps most exciting is the original Bermuda roof. The design of the roof feeds rainwater to the cistern, which waters the gardens.
Massive cypress doors and original exposed cypress beams are inspiring reminders of the passion and attention to detail that the founders brought to their project 70 years ago. Visitors wander through the garden and courtyard and linger in the loggia, which offers a shady outdoor respite from the midday sun.
The partially enclosed section of the library’s loggia features one of the island’s largest shell collections. The Henry Francis du Pont Collection, in the two right hand cabinets, donated in memory of Mr. DuPont, by family and friends in 1969. This collection was gathered between 1920 and 1969 by Mr. DuPont and his family from the beaches of Gasparilla and Little Gasparilla Islands.
In 1999 Mr. George Melissas donated a beautiful collection of shells from his travels. The George Melissas World Shell Collection is housed in the two glass cabinets on the left. Serving as curator, Mr. Melissas oversees both collections.