A Gothic Mansion: Inspired by palazzos that ring Venice canals, this palatial mansion in Sarasota is named Ca’ d’Zan—“House of John”—after circus icon John Ringling.

Fulfillment of an American Dream: Humble Midwesterners, John and Mabel Ringling became one of America’s wealthiest couples. Construction of their 36,000-square-foot house began in 1924 and was completed shortly before Christmas in 1926 at the then-princely sum of $1.5 million.

From Decline to Restoration: By the late ’90s, Ca’ d’Zan was in such disrepair it was used as the location for Miss Havisham’s decrepit mansion in the 1996 Hollywood remake of Charles Dickens’ classic “Great Expectations.” Its restoration—completed in 2002—cost $15 million.

Want more? See www.ringling.org/ca-dzan.