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Architect Morris Lapidus, Magic City Miami 105 by Ted VanCleave - Eden Roc Renaissance Resort, South Beach, Miami Beach, Miami architecture, magic city architecture

Magic City Miami 105

Eden Roc Renaissance Resort, South Beach, Miami Beach

Architect:  Morris Lapidus

Miami Architecture

For more than 50 years, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach has graced Miami Beachís pristine Golden Mile at 45th Street and Collins Avenue. Its 1950s and 60s hey day established it not only as a legendary landmark, but as South Floridaís premier resort property sought by many of the nationís top entertainers and celebrities.

Eden Roc Architecture

Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach was originally designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus, who also designed the Fontainebleau next door and the Americana Hotel, which became known as the Sheraton Bal Harbour. Lapidus was a virtual newcomer to hotel design, specializing in the design of retail storefronts. His curvy, innovative hotel designs were widely criticized and, though considered daring at the time, later earned the 96 year-old Lapidus national acclaim and numerous speaking engagements in which he always insisted his best revenge on his critics was outliving them.

Lapidus revolutionized store design and merchandising from 1929 to 1949 for stores such as Macyís and Saks Fifth Avenue. He figured that he could do the same with hotels when a friend approached him with the challenge of designing his first hotel: The Fontainebleau. Though an architect had already proposed a design for the hotel, owners Ben Novack and Harry Mufson were not pleased. They wanted an exciting hotel and after their first meeting with Lapidus, he was commissioned as the associate architect on the Fontainebleau project.

Next door to the north, Mufson bought the Warner Estate, which belonged to one of the Warner Brothers, with a promise to build an even grander property: Eden Roc. Along with this promise came a new enemy, former partner Ben Novack.

Lapidus was again commissioned by Mufson to design the Eden Roc. "I donít want any of that French stuff you used at the Fontainebleau. Thatís for kids," he said. "I wanted people to come in and fall on their backs," says Lapidus. As research for this project, Lapidus traveled to the very elegant Eden Roc in France; a favorite vacation spot for The Kennedys. While touring Europe, he purchased statues, marble, and Venetian glassware for use in designing the hotel that would later be deemed a vision of the Italian Renaissance.

Through the years, many industry veterans have attempted to identify Lapidus' style with a particular school of architecture. But Lapidus distinguishes his style from all others. "In my opinion, the Fontainebleau was not French and the Eden Roc was not baroque. It was just my style," said Lapidus. "A style that is simply an expression of my own ideas, not an expression of a particular school of architecture. I developed a style that nobody can name, but which architects around the world are today attempting to copy."

Source:  Eden Roc










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All Images & Text Copyright . Ted VanCleave . 2018







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