As Lincoln Road turns 50 years, ArtCenter/South Florida, pillar of the illustrious pedestrian walkway, presents A Quest for Emotion and Motion in Architecture - a retrospective of architect Morris Lapidus’ historic photographs, works and designs. Known as the man behind Miami Beach’s dramatic revival in the Golden years, in addition to turning the once two-way traffic street into Lincoln Road as it is today, his signature projects include Fontainebleau, Eden Roc and the Dilido hotel (now Ritz-Carlton South Beach).
When an economic turn in the late 1950s demanded a new vision for the retail industry, community activist Hal Hertz enlisted Lapidus to reshape Lincoln Road in 1958. By 1960, a pedestrian mall was unveiled, defining Lincoln Road as a space for interaction, drama, exhibitionism and flair. His last architectural project was the renovation of the Colony Theater in 1983, yet he participated, pro-bono, in the Revitalization of South Beach in 1988 with Stanley Levine, Ben Wood and Ellie Sneiderman. Lapidus would return to Lincoln Road time and time again, eventually stating "Why be exotic in private?"
According to the The New York Times, “No American architect in the 20th century embraced more flamboyantly the flagrantly commercial aspect of design than did Morris Lapidus.” Whereas his panache was critiqued throughout his career, the New York native’s work eventually gained new appreciation by contemporary and postmodernist creators. His acute sense of drama purposefully focused on the way people interact and their sense of being, making them proverbial actors within his elaborate projects. For Lapidus, all life was a stage and architecture was a performance. Having left behind little theory, this exhibit is the first time his private quest will be shared publicly.
A Quest for Emotion and Motion in Architecture will coincide with the American Institute of Architecture's annual Conference. Curated by architect/author, Deborah Desilets, last associate of Morris Lapidus; and ArtCenter/South Florida's Director of Exhibitions, Jacquenette Arnette.