I was born in Bradenton Florida.
That used to be a rare thing to be able to say.
I remember crossing the old Green Bridge and always seeing the sign, “Welcome to Bradenton, The Friendly City”. And it was. We left our doors unlocked, neighborhood kids played with each other outdoors until after sunset. We rode our bikes, climbed trees, chased fireflies, and shared each others bar-b-ques.
But something went wrong. The local Mall is nearly abandoned. Many of our public schools are rated “C” or worse. The downtown is hardly used and is often empty ~ especially at night and on the weekends ~ except by those catering to those who’ve been accused by the law. Someone is reported to have been murdered somewhere nearby far too often.
And yet, our ‘Braden~town’ offers some of the most wondrous amenities anywhere. Places we see and take for granted each day that other places around the world would pay good money to have, but can’t. Because we have them. A beautiful river front, gorgeous beaches with pure soft white sand, warm clear gulf waters, lovely weather for outdoor ‘anything’ most of the year, delicious fruits and vegetables we can grow in abundance right in our own front and back yards.
The day I was born my mother personally received a dozen beautiful roses from Mrs Bishop, who lived just a few houses down the street. Dr Sugg, a world renowned physician, was both a neighbor and a friend. Both, together, helped design and build an incredible foundation for a wonderful place to live as well as for attracting tourists. They created much of what we still enjoy today as our main celebratory events.
I was just a kid when one morning I was playing in Dr Sugg’s front yard, and took a peek inside his garage. Underneath a large plexiglass dome was what looked to this young boy like a futuristic ‘City on the Moon’. It was a big scale model, all in white, of what would become ‘The South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium’. There are very few cities today, anywhere in the USA, that offer something as magnificent. And we have it ~ for very little money to walk in the front door and enjoy.
During my career I’ve worked for some of the largest design firms in the world. Assisted in the presentation and planning of major cities, buildings and towers, resorts and parks, clubs and shopping around the world, and worked on major motion pictures as well as educational documentaries. With regard to the reason for this website, I have seen how good design can change everything for the better. I believe its time I turn my attention to my own hometown, a place I truly love, and offer a few thoughts and humble recommendations. I also welcome any ideas or suggestions.
This website will be dedicated to my many fond memories of living and growing up in this beautiful place. Sharing a few experiences that happened to me or that I personally witnessed. And, an attempt, hopefully with your help, to visualize a better Bradenton for all of us to enjoy even more tomorrow. A Bradenton I believe Mrs Bishop and Dr Sugg would smile upon.
Hans Carl Clausen
President & Director
Captured On Film Productions Inc
And, at the age of about seven, the local sheriff.