Sarasota Architectural Foundation Presents “SarasotaMod” October 9-12; Four-day festival celebrates Sarasota’s iconic mid-century architecture with guided tours, social gatherings, presentations by prominent architects, authors, critics

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July 5, 2014


Dan Snyder   202-256-9880   [email protected]

Su Byron   [email protected]

 The Sarasota Architectural Foundation Presents


October 9-12, 2014   Sarasota
This four-day festival celebrates Sarasota’s iconic mid-century architecture with
guided tours, social gatherings, and presentations by prominent architects, authors, critics and designers, including Carl Abbott, Alastair Gordon, John Howey
, Raymond Jungles and Lawrence Scarpa.

(Sarasota, FL) The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) presents “SarasotaMOD,” a four-day celebration of the region’s iconic mid-20th-century architecture, October 9-12, 2014. Leading architects, designers, historians and authors will explore the ongoing impact of this movement through presentations, panel discussions and tours in locations throughout the region. For more information about dates, locations and ticket prices, visit

SarasotaMOD’s speakers include such leading modernist architects as Carl Abbott, author of Informed by the Land; John Howey, author of The Sarasota School of Architecture: 1941-1966; Joe King,co-author of Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses; Lawrence Scarpa, pioneer of sustainable design; Tim Seibert, designer of many iconic Sarasota School of Architecture structures. Presenters also include acclaimed landscape architect Raymond Jungles; author, critic and filmmaker Alastair Gordon; and architectural critic and Herald-Tribune columnist Harold Bubil.

 Guided trolley, boat and walking tours will explore Sarasota’s mid-century legacy by land and sea. Many of the festival’s events will take place in acclaimed modernist structures. Festival participants will experience not only Sarasota’s architectural jewels but also the subtropical setting for those jewels. According to SAF’s board chair, Janet Minker, that’s the whole point.

“It’s all about context,” she says. “There’s a reason a globally significant architectural movement grew up in what used to be sleepy seaside town by the Gulf of Mexico. Not every city with beautiful sandy beaches and palm tree-lined streets inspired an architectural movement that actually takes the city’s name. Sarasota did. We’re going to examine why.”

Architect Carl Abbott says the spirit of the place is key.

“The place can transform the architect,” says Abbott. “A good architect always returns the compliment. There’s a reasononly a handful of communities in the world stand out for architectural innovation. Sarasota is one of them. You really do have to see it to believe it.”

Bottom line? Festival participants will experience the region’s rich heritage of modern buildings, the thinking behind those stunning structures, and the qualities of light and landscape that inspired the Sarasota School architects in the first place.

Minker is quick to add that this inspiration is not a thing of the past.

“The Sarasota School of Architecture is a living, evolving movement, not a relic of days gone by,” she says. “A movement, by definition moves. Modernist architects are still changing the Sarasota landscape. It isn’t over yet—and this festival is proof.” Minker encourages buying tickets early as they may sell out before each event and not be available on day of event.


SarasotaMOD is October 9-12, 2014, in Sarasota. For more information about the event, visit


Festival Highlights

For times, locations and prices about all events, visit

 October 9

Opening Reception: The Building Itself Teaches. Lorrie Muldowney, manager of Sarasota County Historical Resources will offer insights in this final showing of an exhibit of Philip Hiss’ legacy of architectural excellence as head of Sarasota County’s public school system. 5:30-7:30 p.m. History Center Museum, 701 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Free; registration required.

October 10

Laying the Foundation: The Making of a Modern Sarasota, 1880-1940.

From the turn of the 20th century until the 1920s, John Hamilton Gillespie, Bertha Palmer, John Ringling and Owen Burns laid the foundation for the modernist architectural visionaries to come. Architectural columnist Harold Bubil and historian and author Jeff LaHurd will shed light on their achievements. 8-9 a.m., breakfast; 9-10 a.m., presentation. The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $25, includes breakfast.

Stories on Stage: Interview with John Howey. In 1997, architect John Howey’s The Sarasota School of Architecture: 1941-1966 hit the bookstores. His groundbreaking book put the region’s modernist legacy back on the map and inspired the modernists of the future. What’s the story behind the story? Thanks to an unscripted interview with historian Christine Madrid French, we’ll find out. 10:30-11:30 a.m. The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $20.

Landscaping in the Tropics. In the eyes of Raymond Jungles, landscape architecture is a form of living, growing poetry. Some of that poetry flourishes in the tropics and subtropics—and some of it doesn’t. The critically acclaimed Miami-based landscape architect will speak on what does. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., lunch and cash bar; 12:30-1:30 p.m., presentation. The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $35, includes lunch.

Paul Rudolph: Beyond Sarasota. ArchitectsDan Webre and Sean Khorsandi, co-directors ofthe Paul Rudolph Foundation, will examine the link between the abstract clarity of Rudolph’s early Sarasota private houses and public schools to his powerful, later work around the nation and the world. 2-3 p.m. The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $20.

Trolley Tour: Bubil’s Top Ten Buildings in Sarasota. Architectural critic and Herald-Tribune columnist Harold Bubil will reveal his best-loved buildings on this trolley tour, including work by Jack West, Victor Lundy, Paul Rudolph and I.M. Pei, on this trolley tour. 2-4:30 p.m. Board the trolley at 1:30 p.m. at The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $35.

Experiential Transformations. The life of a building is the life of the people who use it. Noted architect and keynote speaker Lawrence Scarpa will investigate the experiential context of creating, enjoying and preserving great structures, and why experience is the most important building block of all. 5:30-7 p.m. Ringling College of Art + Design, 2700 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $30.

October 11

Philip Hiss: The Impresario of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Morris Hylton III will explore the architectural impact of adventurer, photographer, author, diplomat and entrepreneur, Philip Hanson Hiss III. 8-9 a.m., breakfast; 9-10 a.m., presentation. The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $25, includes breakfast.

True Veterans of the Sarasota School. Sarasota School veterans Tim Seibert, Carl Abbott and John Howey will explore the architectural alchemy that made this regional expression of mid-century modernism possible. Architect and architectural critic Joyce Owens will moderate this magical panel discussion. 10:30-11:30 a.m. The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $20.

Prosperous Bohemians. What do Long Island and Sarasota have in common? A legacy of mid-century modern beach houses—some demolished, and some still standing. Alastair Gordon’s presentation will reveal sustainable, domestic spaces by Charles Gwathmey, Richard Meier, George Nelson, Philip Johnson and others. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., lunch and cash bar; 12:30-1:30 p.m., presentation. The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $35 includes lunch.

Lido Shores on Foot. Sarasota developer Philip Hiss dreamed of a neighborhood showcasing modernist residences designed for a human scale. Thanks to designs by Paul Rudolph and others, that dream became in a reality. Despite the depredations of later developers, architects like Jonathan Parks, Carl Abbott, Guy Peterson and Tim Seibert kept the dream alive. This walking tour is led by architectural critic Harold Bubil. 2-4:30 p.m. Meet at 1:30 p.m. at 1301 Westway Drive, Sarasota. $25.

Mid-Century Modern: Inside, Outside and Beyond. Architects Samuel Holladay and Michael Epstein and interior designer Pamela Holladay will investigate the mid-century modern paradigm, and how contemporary architects and interior designers can approach that design inheritance with understanding and respect in their renovation projects. Case studies will reveal creative design solutions to mid-century makeovers in the real world. 2-3 p.m. The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $20.

Trolley Tour: Paul Rudolph’s Sarasota. Ringling College of Art + Design professor Christopher Wilson will guide this trolley tour of some of Paul Rudolph’s Sarasota buildings, from his early residences designed with Ralph Twitchell in the late 1940s to his Sarasota structures of the late 1950s. 2-4 p.m. Board the trolley at 1:30 p.m. at The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $35.

Paul Rudolph’s Sanderling Beach Club Buffet Supper. Rudolph’s national reputation is defined, and sometimes pigeonholed, by his monumental concrete structures. Dinner guests will enjoy his playful side in an interconnected, vaulted gathering space of cypress, glass and concrete. Architects Joe King and Carl Abbott will supply the dinner conversation. 6-8 p.m. Sanderling Beach Club, 7400 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota. $95, includes dinner.

October 12

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Florida Southern College. This one-day bus tour will offer an up-close-and-personal exploration of the 12 structures Wright designed for the “Child of the Sun” campus in Lakeland, Florida. 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Board at The Francis, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. $75, includes lunch and transportation.

SarasotaMOD 2015 Preview. Secrets and surprises are on the menu at this Sunday brunch at the mid-century-inspired Shore Diner on St. Armands Circle. Guests will preview SAF’s plans for SarasotaMOD 2015 and meet the team behind SAF’s ambitious recreation of Paul Rudolph’s iconic Walker Guest House on the campus of The Ringling. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Shore Diner, 465 John Ringling Boulevard, St Armands Circle, Sarasota. $25, includes one entrée and one drink.

Boat Tour: Sarasota from the Water. Participants will explore Sarasota’s modernist legacy from an aquatic point of view, discovering how the sparkling waters informed the architects’ designs. 3-5 p.m. Bayfront Marina, Ringling Boulevard and Marina Plaza, Sarasota. $25.

For a complete itinerary and more info about speakers, visit

About Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF)

The Sarasota Architectural Foundation was incorporated in 2002 to promote, preserve and maintain Sarasota’s unique heritage of architecture and design. Since its inception, SAF has provided a highly visible stage for professionals and the general public to come together and celebrate the groundbreaking movement known as the Sarasota School of Architecture. Through its ongoing series of lectures, tours, conferences and film presentations, SAF continues to inform and inspire a loyal and diverse following. Knowing the important role of education in today’s rapidly changing and competitive world, the Foundation also grants annual SAF-Paul Rudolph Scholarships to one or more outstanding local architecture students. SAF will continue to evolve as we reach out to a larger audience, advocate for the preservation of Sarasota School of Architecture structures, and highlight the relevance of midcentury design principles in today’s built environment. For more information, visit

 About the Sarasota School of Architecture

In the years after World War II, a group of Sarasota-based architects adapted the principles of mid-century modernist design to the unique demands of Florida’s environment in a sleepy artists’ colony off the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The movement they created helped transform the small town into a cosmopolitan cultural center—and eventually became known as the Sarasota School of Architecture. Today, the movement’s impact goes far beyond the region where it was born. Such celebrated architects as Paul Rudolph, Ralph Twitchell and Victor Lundy established a globally significant legacy of fearless originality, raw talent, restless invention, honest materials, and design for a human scale. Today, many contemporary modernists continue to build on that legacy, and keep the movement alive.

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