Hidden Trove of Chinese Literature on Little Sarasota Bay: Tour the Elling Eide Center
Take a private tour of this new world-class research library devoted to Chinese literature and art and built on one of the largest undeveloped waterfront properties in Sarasota County on Saturday, Feb. 24th. Afterwards, enjoy lunch with fellow alumni.
Tucked away in rich Florida foliage behind one of Sarasota’s main highways is a hidden world of Chinese literature and art. The brainchild of Chicago-born Elling O. Eide, whose passion for Chinese culture led him to amass one of the largest private Chinese-language libraries in the world, the Elling Eide Center opened in late 2016 on a 72-acre undeveloped property on Little Sarasota Bay in southern Sarasota County. The center is not open to the general public but only to scholars and students, and occasionally to small groups of visitors like ours. We will receive a private tour and will hear the story of this unique institution from its president, Harold Mitchell, a cousin of Mr. Eide who was brought in – also from Chicago -- to help oversee the project’s completion several years ago. The collection is housed in a bright, airy modernist structure with Zen-like spaces designed by award-winning architect Guy Peterson that provides wide views of the bay and Old Florida greenery. Read a New York Times story on the Eide Center here: Beneath the Spanish Moss of Florida, A Treasure Chest of Chinese Literature
Our tour and talk will run from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 24th, but please arrive at the center, located at 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, by 10:15 a.m. Entering the property can be a bit tricky as it is, indeed, well hidden. Coming south on South Tamiami Trail (Route 41), take a right on Springfield Drive. Immediately after you turn, take the narrow gravel road to the left. There should be a black and white “special event” sign and an Elling Eide Center marker to help guide you.
The event at the Eide Center is FREE -- fortunately, we were able to make our reservation before the center instituted an admissions fee. However, please register so that we can tell the Center how many to expect.
Immediately afterwards, we will enjoy lunch at a new, nearby, down-home lunch place personally taste-tested by your Event Contact. Lunch cost is on your own. Please register for lunch also, so that we know how many to expect.