On Sarasota’s North Tamiami Trail, two mannequins are causing controversy. Some people say they’re offensive. The man who put up the display says he wanted to offend his neighbors and the city of Sarasota.
People have recently sent e-mails to Sarasota city commissioners asking for help to please have this man take these mannequins down. But city commissioners say, believe it or not, he’s not violating any city code. [ed: Outrageous!!]
The owner of this now empty building, commonly referred to as the mirrored house, has put these female mannequins on display in the window. Arnold Herbst, a neighbor to the windows, says “one day, he’ll put the tops on the mannequins, the next day he’ll just take them down.” Herbst lives in the neighborhood and says the women are often placed in different sexual positions. He says it’s always a steamy scene that’s getting him and other neighbors very heated. Less than two hundred yards from this window display, just across the street, is Bay Haven Elementary School. “It’s a terrible sight, especially when you got to walk the kids, you got to take the heads and turn them away.” [ed: shameful!!]
In July of last year, ABC 7 interviewed the man who owns the mirrored house, David Douthitt. He was trying to make the place a hair salon with a bikini-clad staff, calling it a clip joint, not a strip joint. Saus Douthitt, “I plan on having a beautiful staff of ladies in designer swimwear kind of theme with the beach town we are.” But the salon never opened. Douthitt couldn’t get the proper permits and neighbors complained. They didn’t want that type of business in their neighborhood.
“Since it’s been going through the courts, since it’s been going through a bunch of stupidity, he’s taking it out on the neighborhood.” Douthitt says he feels “railroaded” by both the city and his neighborhood. He says he was trying to open a legitimate business, and he wasn’t allowed. He says this is his way of protesting.
Sarasota city commissioner Kelly Kirschner said that, in response to all of this, the city is now considering legislation that you cannot display naked mannequins in this manner. [ed: Epic Lulz!]
I’ve lived in Sarasota for many years. This isn’t surprising one bit. It ain’t like the old days, back when the South Trail XXX Cinema was around (where PeeWee Herman got busted).
Kent: please tell me your brother isn’t really going to outlaw naked mannequins. Is he?
Unfortunately, the mirror house is no more. Well, it was fun while it lasted.