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After the untimely death of his father in 1906, his mother moved the family to Winter Park FL.   Twitchell enrolled in Rollins College but transferred to McGill University in Montreal then later Columbia University.  After his 1917-19 WWI military service, Twitchell graduated from Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture in 1920 and a Masters in 1921. Twitchell first came to Sarasota in 1925 as the representative of New York architect Dwight James Baum to manage the final stages of the construction of John Ringling's Ca d’Zan mansion. In 1936, Twitchell moved permanently to Sarasota to open his own architectural and construction company, Associated Builders. He is considered the father of the group of Sarasota Modernist architecture practitioners with the name of the "Sarasota School," although there's no actual educational facility involved. 

In 1938, the AIA revoked Twitchell's membership, due to Twitchell's ownership of a construction company, against the AIA rules at the time.  In 1976, two years before his death, the AIA reversed its decision and recognized Twitchell as Architect Emeritus.  In 1941, Twitchell hired Paul Rudolph, 28 years his younger, and they collaborated on a number of projects.  Twitchell and Rudolph parted ways in 1951. Between 1953 and 1954, Twitchell partnered with another "Sarasota School" architect, Jack West, and between 1959 and 1965 with his son, Tollyn Jules Twitchell.  Ralph Twitchell married three times and had five children: Sylva, Tollyn and Terry from his first marriage, and Aaron and Debbie from his second. Bio adapted from Wikipedia.

1926 - The Franklin and Mabel Hodge House, 7316 Broughton, Sarasota FL.  2000sf. Sold in the 1970's. Sold in 1981 to Victoria Creighton. For sale in 2018.

1936 - The MacKinley and Irene Kantor Residence, 4105 Shell Road, Siesta Key, Sarasota FL.  When MacKinley Kantor died in 1977, Irene wife donated his office and its contents to Sarasota County Historical Resources who restored it.  Sold.  A guest house was built on the property in the late 1980's.  The house has been destroyed. 

1937 - aka Showboat House, Lake Louise FL.  Status unknown.

1939 - The Ludelle (Lu) Andrews House I, Sarasota FL.  She was Twitchell's secretary and bookkeeper. Built in partnership with John Lambie.  Status unknown.

1940 - Newtown Heights, Sarasota FL. Public housing.  Status unknown.

1941 - The Ludelle (Lu) Andrews House II, Sarasota FL.  Status unknown.  

1941 - The Jules and Marie Glorieux House, McClellan Park, Sarasota FL.  Twitchell's in-laws.  Paul Rudolph is believed to have worked on this during his summer internship.  Ed Root was the project manager for construction.  Deeded to Marie Gloriuex.  Deeded around 1950 to her daughter, Lucienne Glorieux Twitchell, Twitchell's first wife.  Status unknown.

1941 - 904 Virginia Drive, Sarasota FL.  Restored and expanded in 2009.  Renovated in 2016. For sale in 2020.  Sold in 2024.


1941 - The Riviera Apartments, Golden Gate Point, Sarasota FL.  Destroyed and replaced by the Grande Riviera Condos.

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1941 - The Ralph Twitchell Residence, 101 Big Pass Lane, Siesta Key FL. Designed with Ralph Twitchell. Featured in Architectural Forum, September 1947. Sold to Garrison and Marjorie Creighton. Sold in 2005 to architect Joe King. Damaged by fire, the house was dismantled and put into storage in 2007King sold the house, still in a tractor-trailer, in 2019. Top photo by Sarasota County History Center; next by Joseph Steinmetz; remaining photos by Chris Mottalini.


1951 - The Eugene Knotts Residence, Yankeetown FL.  Knotts did not like Paul Rudolph's initial design, citing price and insufficient structural integrity of the roof. Rudolph left the firm around that time and new company architect Jack West created a more classic Modernist design, bottom photo, which was built by Twitchell's brother. See Jack West archive.


1953 - The Hudson Beach House, 616 Valencia, Venice FL.  2104sf. For sale in 2016. For sale in 2020.  Status unknown.

1954 - 121 Ogden Street, Siesta Key, Sarasota FL.  For sale in 2024.


1956 - The Karl and Lucienne Glorieux Twitchell Nielsen House, aka Twitchell Hutchens House, 3730 Sandspur Lane, Casey Key, Nokomis FL.  Twitchell's ex-wife and her new husband.  Deeded to daughter Sylva Twitchell Hutchens, who  was living there as of 2005.  Listed in 2007 in the National Register of Historic Places. Status unknown.


1959 - The Ludelle (Lu) Andrews House III, 1695 Lowe Drive, Sarasota FL.  Sold in 1998 to Lou and Kim Salvatori who did a restoration. Second photo by Darren Bradley. Sold to Gina Vutera.

1962 - The Stuart Rae Residence, 1224 Port Lane, Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL. Commissioned 1960.  Sold to Lisa Russo.  For sale in 2024.


1965 - The Jane and Merton Wilcox Residence, 6841 Peacock Road, Siesta Key, Sarasota FL.  Project architect, Bob Schennum; project builder Irv Bulifant. There was also a guest house. Sold in 1979 to Paul and Carolyn Jones Van Helden.  Renovated and rebuilt, with a huge addition, in 2015. Sold to Geoffrey and Jill Raker.

Houses Twitchell designed with Paul Rudolph are documented in the Rudolph Archive.

1946 - The Alexander S. (Al) and Leona B. Harkavy Residence.

1946 - The Marion Miller Boat House.

1946 - The Muniz House.

1947 - The Burt J. Denman Residence.

1947 - The Roberta Healy Finney Guest House.

1947 - The Goar Residence.

1947 - The Shute Residence.

1948 - The Marion (Monks) Miller Residence, aka Purple Pelican.

1948 - The Maynard E. (Russ) and Phyllis Boggs Russell Residence.

1948 - The Lamolithic/J. E. Lambie Development.

1948 - The Roberta Healy Finney House, aka the Revere Quality House.

1948 - The Albert T. and Lois Siegrist Residence.

1949 - The Edward Deeds Residence.

1949 - The Arthur C. Cheatham Pool and Pool House Addition.

1950 - The W. R. Healy Guest House.

1950 - The Burnette Residence.

1951 - The Allen and Barbara Bennett Residence.

1951 - The W. W. Kerr Residence.

1951 - The Francis B. and Farrell O. Watson Residence.

1951 - The C. Richard Leavengood Residence.

1951 - The Lucienne Glorieux Twitchell Neilson Residence.

1951 - The Marion Coward Residence.

1952 - The Walter W. and Elaine Walker Guest House.

1952 - The Lewis H. (Lou) and Ruth H. Haskins Residence.

1952 - The Arthur Bernard Moehlman and Grace Fletcher Moehlman Guest House/Carport.

1953 - The Nathan S. Rubin Residence.

1953 - The Mahony House.

Sources include:  Lisa Russo.