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  • 24 Jul 2017 8:56 AM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    Janet Minker, who in my presence, at least, has exhibited not a hint of ego, is taken aback to have won the Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the Florida-Caribbean chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

    The board chairman of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation says, “It is a bit overwhelming, because it is such a prestigious award.”

    She also adds, “It really is an award for SAF. I kind of stumbled into this organization and was so happy to pull pieces together.”

    AIA-Florida’s highest award for non-architects recognizes “interest, activity and concern for the profession of architecture” that advances “the cause of good design and planning,” and/or contributes to the “dignity and value of the architectural profession.”

    She will receive the award next weekend at the AIA convention in Naples.

    The award is named for the former Florida governor and U.S. senator whose interest in architecture led AIA-Florida to make him an honorary member.

    Minker earned the award through her tireless dedication to SAF’s mission of promoting awareness and preservation of Sarasota’s midcentury modern architecture.

    It is basically a full-time job, with no pay.

    But it does have benefits.

    “The benefits are meeting all these incredible homeowners and design enthusiasts,” she said. “And welcoming architects from all over the world who come here and want to see buildings by Paul Rudolph, Tim Seibert and Victor Lundy.”

    Under her leadership, SAF began the annual Sarasota MOD Weekend architecture event, based on Palm Springs Modernism Week, in 2014. The group also raised $250,000 to build a replica of Rudolph’s Walker Guest House, which was on display at The Ringling until April 30.

    As if that is not enough, Minker, a professional graphic designer, works with the SAF board to come up with ideas for tours, lectures and events, and also creates the graphic materials with which to promote them.

    “We save a lot of money by my doing that,” she said.

    The Maryland native moved here with her husband, Elliott Himelfarb, in 2009, after decades working in Washington, D.C. Twenty years ago, the couple visited her cousin in Sarasota and fell in love with the city.

    We have heard that story before.

    “As a designer, I love design, whether it is 17th century or 20th century,” she said. “When we first visited Sarasota, we walked around Lido Shores, and I had no idea who Paul Rudolph was, or the legacy of (developer) Phil Hiss. But we thought the houses were amazing. This is when many of the original houses were still on New Pass. I just thought it was a remarkable place.”

    She also convinced longtime friend and fellow public relations professional Dan Snyder to visit Sarasota. He, too, caught the Sarasota bug.

    For years, Snyder and Minker were virtually inseparable as they created a strong and vibrant organization with big dreams and the drive to make them real.

    “We joined because in 2012, Paul Rudolph’s addition at Sarasota High School was under threat,” she said of a building that now has been renovated and its exterior restored. “That kept us going in the early years, leading the fight to save it. It is a real jewel.”

    She said she gains strength, and creativity from the brainpower of SAF’s members, especially those on the board of directors.

    Coming up with event ideas and recruiting homeowners to open their houses for tours “is the most natural thing,” Minker said. “I have quite a long list of houses we want to see and tour. I would love to do more travel around Florida, and even California.

    “I hope always to be involved with SAF and give advice and suggestions, because there is a wealth of things to do and see.”

    Minker credits the SAF’s corps of “wonderful volunteers” for making events happen and serving as docents.

    “Our volunteers and members are so devoted and passionate about this design legacy,” she said. “They want to do everything they can to keep the buildings intact and preserve and restore them. You get a lot of energy from the big supporters and enthusiasts.”

    That is why, she says, “I am thrilled that the SAF does get some notice and recognition in the state of Florida, and that makes me feel wonderful.”

    As I said, no ego.

    Past winners of the Bob Graham Award from Sarasota include SAF co-founder Martie Lieberman, Center for Architecture Sarasota co-founder Cindy Peterson and the Herald-Tribune’s Harold Bubil.

  • 22 Jul 2017 11:04 AM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    By Harold Bubil
    Real estate editor

    Posted Jul 21, 2017 at 2:59 PM Updated Jul 21, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Trade group emphasizes the value that architects add to homes

    Architects add cost to the home-construction process, but do they add value?

    As the state’s architects head to Naples later this week for the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects’ Florida/Caribbean chapter, that question is one that Joyce Owens, the chapter’s 2017 president, is spending the year trying to answer in the affirmative.

    Her theme for the year is “Communicating Value.”

    The highlight of the convention is the annual design awards presentation, and, as usual, Sarasota’s architecture community will be well represented, with awards won by Guy Peterson OFA, Seibert Architects, Carl Abbott Architect & Planner and Sweet Sparkman Architects.

    AIA Florida design awards

    For designing space in inventive ways, the AIA-Florida 2017 design awards will be presented to these Sarasota-area architects:

    • Guy Peterson / Office for Architecture, for the Elling Eide Center in south Sarasota (Honor Award for New Work). This 17,000-square-foot project was originally intended to be both a residence and library for the collections of noted Sinologist Elling Eide on Little Sarasota Bay near U.S. 41 and Beneva Road. After Eide's death, Peterson and his team converted the project, decades in the making, into a library, archives and study center for scholars of medieval Chinese literature and culture. "It was difficult for Elling to come to terms with doing this," said Guy Peterson of his client. "He would sometimes say, 'Let's just stop for a while.' And then we would talk, and talk, and talk, and he would get excited again. We just kept at it, and finally, it happened. I wish he were here to see it. There is nothing like it in Florida."

    • Seibert Architects, for the Johann Fust Community Library in Boca Grande (Merit Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation and Restoration.) Built in 1950, the library was updated with new electrical and mechanical systems, repairs and restoration of materials, and enhancements to accessibility by project designer Michael Epstein and interior designer Pam Holladay.

    • Carl Abbott, for his Caribbean Hillside Residence (Merit Award for Sustainable Design). FromAbbott's website: "This house is a viewing platform for water, land, and sky with sweeping views across the Caribbean to the volcanic island of Saba, and, in the other direction, distant mountains. The views, the breezes, light and shadow, and the seasonal changes of the sun determined the forms."

    • Carl Abbott, for the Women's Resource Center in Sarasota (Merit Award for "Test of Time"). Abbott: "This Center is a special place in the community to assist women. The spirit of the design is feminine — with gentle curved walls, sloped roofs and quietly elongated surfaces. From the exterior, the building is fortress-like, from the interior, intimate spaces lead to a cloistered courtyard protected by garden walls."

    • Sweet Sparkman Architects, for the Fruitville Elementary School addition (Merit Award for Masonry in Design). Architect Todd Sweet said the school district preferred brick as an exterior cladding because of his durability. His team worked to make it an art element and not just a shell. "Many brick buildings are traditional in appearance," Sweet said. "At Fruitville, we wanted to use this material, but in more of a contemporary fashion. The chosen brick itself is dense and square. The design team paid careful attention to the grout joints and running patterns. We spent weeks on developing patterns. The chosen design has every third course of brick projected a half-inch from the adjacent surface. This added visual interest to the facade, especially when shadows were cast." Sounds like something Victor Lundy would do.

    Individual honor awards will go to John Pichette of Halflants + Pichette Studio for Modern Architecture in Sarasota (Builder of the Year) and Sarasota Architectural Foundation board chair Janet Minker (Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award).

    An architect’s fee often, but not always, is 10 percent of the construction budget, but Owens said the real cost of an architect-designed house over the life of a 30-year mortgage is only 1 to 2 percent more than a house of similar size that was not designed by an architect.

    The reason, she said: Better planning, materials and functionality.

    “The cost of hiring an architect is so much less than people appreciate,” said Owens, who is based in Fort Myers.

    “They can save you money in design costs, if that is your goal,” Owens said. “Good architects will keep you within your budget. The architect has already drawn this thing and has understood it.”

    By using better and more appropriate materials, she added, “maintenance will be less.” Through the process of construction administration, the architect will check that the builder is using the correct materials.

    This is not to say that architects do not exceed budgets. Some of the most famous architects of the 20th century were infamous for busting budgets, and the problem is not confined to them.

    In fact, a “blown budget” just as often results from clients either not setting budgets or failing to reveal real numbers to their architects, said Charleston, S.C., architect Steve Ramos in his blog, BuildingsAreCool.com. Construction costs are commonly underestimated, especially when clients add expensive features during construction, he writes. The solution usually is “value engineering,” which is the “painful” process of reducing costs by removing features, using cheaper materials and/or making the building smaller.

    But, said Owens, the average architect does not have the stature of a Le Corbusier or Frank Lloyd Wright.

    “Those guys got a bad rap; they were artists who were pushing the limits and doing their best at the moment,” she said.

    “Everyday architects — as much as we would like to think we are — are not Le Corbusier,” she added. “We are in there doing our best for our clients and trying to be considerate of them and look after their money. Sometimes when we do push the limits, we fail, too. As architects, we have to be very careful when we push the limits. You have to be able to understand the science of building” first.

    The builder’s perspective

    Home builders who have constructed houses with and without architects perhaps can offer more objective viewpoints.

    For construction budgets exceeding $1 million, “I would consider an architect an indispensable asset,” said Ricky Perrone of Perrone Construction, a custom builder of luxury houses in Sarasota. “An architect’s skill set is simply at a far higher level than a draftsperson on Day One.

    “A license isn’t necessarily a free pass, though. There are huge differences in the capabilities of architects, from the excellent to the not-so-great, and these subtle differences can have major impacts on the cost of a project, the speed of construction, architectural appeal and the livability of the home, not to mention pride of ownership.”

    Josh Wynne of Josh Wynne Construction has won many building awards, both for his own design-build projects and architect-designed houses. Lately, he has built more of the latter.

    “There are many different kinds of architects out there,” Wynne said. “Each of them brings a unique experience and a different value.”

    Wynne emphasized that architects are not simply about design and artistry.

    “An architect’s first responsibility is to understand ‘the problem,’ ” he said. “The architect must be able to help the clients communicate their needs if there is to be any hope of delivering a design that is considerate of those needs.”

    The architect also must understand local, state and federal zoning and building codes, Wynne added. “And then there is the problem of using the land to its best potential. The last problem is always the budget.”

    At that point, Wynne-the-builder sees his architect collaborators “use artistry to turn blank paper into a concept that not only solves ‘the problem,’ but does it in a way that the structure complements, or enhances the natural environment.”

    That includes allowing for views, prevailing winds, sunlight, weather and the environment — a process that venerable Sarasota architect Carl Abbott famously calls being “In/Formed by the Land.” That is the title of a book about his work.

    “Once the schematic design is complete, the architect will have competently communicated the visual goals of the project,” Wynne said.

    At that point, the design team turns to details, he said. “Instead of resolving the grand gesture, the architect must formulate a means to resolve all of the details that combine to support the concept of the design. There is equal parts artistry, engineering and constructability.”

    Then, especially for large custom homes of a particular architectural style, the focus turns to structural engineering and mechanical design in the construction documents. Once construction begins, the principal architect or a staff architect will oversee construction administration.

    “It is impossible to draw enough detail to convey every single layer of the build process,” Wynne said, “so having the architect engaged throughout construction is imperative to getting those final details executed correctly.”

    Wynne, who is a skilled communicator himself, said architects are critical to both the design process and the lives of people in the community.

    “They, quite literally, give definition to space. It’s hard to put a value on that.”

    Realtors see a premium

    That is a job for local real estate agents, who are nearly unanimous in their belief that homes designed by architects sell at a premium.

    “Showing many homes, we see the same exteriors and floor plans over and over in many price ranges,” said Louise Hamel of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “A property well-designed by an architect immediately presents as a home that is distinctive. There can’t be too much said about an interesting and functional floor plan that accommodates many kinds of owners.

    “Architect-designed homes take advantage of the site and are often built on a lot with special features that deserve to be highlighted. A top-notch architect is well worth the investment. ”

    Michael Saunders & Co. agent Marcia Salkin, joining Hamel and 20 other Realtors commenting on a Facebook post, points out that the top three houses sold in the Sarasota area in the past two years were designed by architects: two by Clifford Scholz and one by Mark Sultana, all at $7 million-plus.

    That does not mean, said Owens, that architects only design high-end homes. But she acknowledges that it is more work for architects to design to a budget that is exceptionally lean.

    “Anyone with the wherewithal to hire an architect wants it to look like the cool houses in the magazines,” Owens said. “Those houses generally cost more, whether modern or traditional; they have better finishes and better materials.

    “When I design house for a moderate budget, the owners will constantly push for the best. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. If you want a moderately priced house designed by an architect, you have to listen and keep the budget at the forefront.”

    And even well-known local home builders, including Lee Wetherington Homes and John Cannon Homes, employ architects in their firms.

    “Designs are changing,” said Wetherington, who makes sure his design team pays close attention to the budgets of his clients. “Architectural looks are the latest trend. Plain and simple. Clean. The market for these homes is expanding. I believe it has legs and will continue be a force in the market.”


  • 09 Jul 2017 11:10 AM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    By Harold Bubil
    Real estate editor

    Posted Jul 8, 2017 at 3:25 AM

    3251 Higel Ave., Siesta Key. Carl Abbott, FAIA

    Carl Abbott is one of Sarasota’s design legends. By his own admission, he does not design a lot of buildings. But the ones he does, he makes count.

    Winning “Test of Time” awards from the American Institute of Architects is pretty much an annual occurrence for Abbott. By paying special attention to a project’s site, he has created buildings that are still functional and vital after 25 years, which may not sound like a long time, but in Florida, where 10 years is middle-age for a new waterfront house, it is.

    There are still five years to go before this week’s “Building I Love” is eligible, but considering how it makes the most of a small site with a big view of Sarasota Bay and downtown, the Dolphin House could, indeed, win yet another “Test of Time” award someday.

    The house derives its name from the dolphins who tend to feed and linger just a few feet from its seawall where Bayou Louise connects to Sarasota Bay on the north end of Siesta Key. ”“They are there all the time,” he said.

    Abbott used his signature design tools — off-white coloring, industrial fenestration and handrails, huge panels of glass — to accentuate views and make memorable architecture. He also took the flat roof and skewed it out of level. The purpose was to direct the eye toward the bayou on the east side, and allow more sunset colors to enter the house from the west.

    More Video:

    Ribbon cutting planned for Fort Hamer Bridge

    “There are a lot of elements of this building that really tie into my words ‘informed by the land,’ ” said Abbott, referring to the title of a book about his work. “This house would not work anywhere else.”

    In “In/Formed by the Land,” Abbott writes, “The main view is to the north, across the wide bay to the city. I designed the great floating roof to also accentuate other specific views. The roof is a flat plane with each corner at a different height. To the west is the highest corner, aiming to the sky. To the east, a lower corner aiming down to the water of the narrow canal.”

    The central interior element is a grand living room that includes the dining area, with dramatic views through a double-height glass curtain wall.

    “In that big room,” said Abbott in a 2012 interview with the Herald-Tribune, “the walls are not parallel — the wall is to the west and the wall to the east. That is basically a reverse perspective to bring the city closer. It accentuates the perspective.”

    “Florida Buildings I Love” is Harold Bubil’s homage to the Sunshine State’s built environment. He has prepared a PowerPoint slide show for presentation to clubs and civic groups. Contact him at hfbubil@me.com.

  • 26 Jun 2017 1:39 PM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    Herald-Tribune real estate editor Harold Bubil has won a Gold Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors for work on what could be the biggest real estate story in Florida’s history: sea-level rise.

    Sea-level rise: Threat and opportunity,” which won Best Residential Real Estate Story, was judged against entries from all sizes of newspapers and websites across the country. The award was announced Friday night at the 88-year-old NAREE’s annual convention in Denver.

    Bubil’s story explored the range of opinions on sea-level rise, its potential impact on Southwest Florida and the state, how builders and architects and their trade organizations have responded, and who might actually benefit from the phenomenon.

    “Many great journalists have won high honors for the Herald-Tribune, and I am pleased to have met, to some degree, the standard they have set,” said Bubil, who served as NAREE’s president in 2012.

    It was the first Gold Award after 42 years in journalism for Bubil, the winner of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects. Bubil had previously won NAREE’s President’s Award for Volunteer Service.

    Last year, Herald-Tribune reporter Josh Salman won the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ Platinum Award for his investigation of the federal government’s EB-5 visa program, which allows wealthy individuals from other countries to jump to the front of the immigration line in return for committing $500,000 to $1 million to projects in the United States.

  • 19 Jun 2017 12:02 PM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    Going extra green, and a prestigious award for the SAF’s leader

    Green building has been a focus of this column, and section, since around 2000. Back then, it was news, and the goal in the fledgling industry was that someday, building houses using sustainable materials and methods would no longer be news — it would simply be the way things were done.

    We are at the point that what was green back then is just code-compliant now. All of the houses at Lakewood Ranch, for example, have been built to green standards for a decade now, and elsewhere, most builders are using at least the “low-hanging fruit” to achieve the energy-code minimums.

    But, news is still being made. In this case, it is by a builder who has been doing this since 2008 or so — Josh Wynne of Josh Wynne Construction. His houses have set a lot of local and state performance records, and he has won dozens of awards for green building.

    His latest effort is a new modernist house on Higel Avenue, Siesta Key, that was designed by Jerry Sparkman of Sweet Sparkman Architects. The house has a Home Energy Rating System index of -25, which means that, instead of it using energy from the grid, it is creating a surplus of energy.

    A few years ago, Wynne built a house, known as the PowerHaus, in the Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch that had a HERS index of -22. A large array of solar panels on the roof are testament to the owner’s commitment for having a zero-energy house.

    The new Higel Avenue house is “indeed one of the lowest HERS ratings in the area and state,” said Josh Kane of Two Trails Inc., which did the third-party rating on the project. “This remarkably low HERS index was obtained by building a very efficient and tight envelope, with 100-percent LED lights and EnergyStar appliances, high-performance windows, R-12 block-wall insulation, and a single-assembly, insulated roof deck with R-38” insulation rating.

    Kane said the initial HERS index was 58 before the addition of an 11.52-kilowatt photovoltaic array, also known as solar panels, which sent the HERS into negative territory.

    “The house is completely unique in design and construction technique,” said Wynne. “Our preliminary target HERS was +5. The house overperformed in real-world testing and blew us all away.”

    Another Bob Graham
    award for Sarasota

    Janet Minker, board chair of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, will be presented the Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award at the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean chapter in Naples in late July.

    Minker has led SAF for 5 years and was instrumental in organizing such projects as the annual Sarasota MOD Weekend and the construction of the Walker Guest House Replica.

    The Graham award is AIA-Florida’s highest honor presented to a non-architect, in recognition of efforts to promote the cause of good architecture and community awareness of the architectural profession.

    Past winners include Sarasota’s Cindy Peterson, leader of the Center for Architecture Sarasota, and former Orlando mayor Buddy Dwyer. The award was presented most recently in 2015 to the author of this column.

    “Sarasota grows Bob Graham Award recipients like Iowa grows corn,” said Joyce Owens, AIA-Florida’s 2017 president.

    AIA-Florida 2017 design awards will be presented to Guy Peterson Office for Architecture for the Elling Eide Center in south Sarasota (Honor Award for New Work), Seibert Architects for the restoration of the Johann Fust Community Library in Boca Grande, Carl Abbott for his Caribbean Hillside Residence (Merit Award for Sustainable Design), Abbott for the Women’s Resource Center in Sarasota (Merit Award for “Test of Time”), Sweet Sparkman Architects for the Fruitville Elementary School addition (Merit Award for Masonry in Design), and John Pichette, AIA, of Halflants + Pichette of Sarasota (Builder of the Year).

    Allan Schulman, FAIA, of Miami is the 2017 Gold Medal winner. Peterson won that award last year.

    I will have more coverage on Minker and the AIA design awards in July.

  • 14 Jun 2017 9:07 AM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    HALL ARCHITECTS of Sarasota was named to the University of Florida’s 2017 Gator100.


    Sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, the Gator100 recognizes the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UF alumni. 


    “The Gator100 is a campus-wide initiative that recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit entrenched in the university,” said Timothy Walsh, the Executive Director of the UF Alumni Association and Assistant Vice President of Alumni Affairs. “UF Alumni have created and guided some of the most innovative and profitable businesses in the nation and world. The Gator100 celebrates the very best of our Gator Entrepreneurs.”


    HALL ARCHITECTS is an award-winning multi-disciplinary firm specializing in architecture, design, historic preservation and planning. Its public and private sector projects have been recognized with awards at the local, state and national levels. The firm was founded in 2004 by UF alumnus Gregory Hall, AIA.  Greg received both his Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture from the UF College of Architecture.



  • 20 May 2017 5:52 PM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    Posted May 20, 2017

    By Harold Bubil


    It's all about the curve.

    If the Fountainebleau Miami Beach hotel (pronounced Fountain-Blue by the locals) had been built in a straight line, it might have been just another rectangular block of hotel rooms on a crowded shoreline. But Morris Lapidus, in the best traditions of Miami Beach architecture, chose to give his magnum opus a quarter turn.

    Read more http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170520/florida-buildings-i-love-no-24-fontainebleau-hotel-1954-miami-beach

  • 11 May 2017 10:12 AM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    AIA's new Foresight Report offers an environmental scan looking at trends that could transform our profession. Digital copies are free for members. Download today. Two new tools are also available for members only: a PowerPoint deck with select data points to use and a strategic foresight planning workbook.

  • 01 May 2017 9:00 AM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    SAF and School Board Team Up to
    Preserve Rudolph Canopy Walkway
    at Sarasota High

    SHS Rudolph Canopy Walkway

    The 1960 Paul Rudolph-designed Building 4 at Sarasota High School, renovated and reopened in fall 2015, includes a canopy walkway to the left of the front steps. The iconic building faces Bahia Vista Street and is the focal point of the reconfigured entrance to the school. Photo by Anton Grassl, Esto.  

    SARASOTA, April 27, 2017 – The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) and the School Board of Sarasota County have reached agreement on a plan that retains and restores a significant section of the Paul Rudolph-designed canopy walkway at Sarasota High School. The agreement was formalized at the School Board’s regular meeting on April 18, with SAF board members attending.
    Rudolph was the most prominent member of the midcentury regional architecture movement known as the Sarasota School of Architecture. He designed dozens of private homes and institutional buildings in Sarasota, including the iconic Umbrella and Cocoon houses, and the 1960 addition to Sarasota High School.
    The canopy walkway is located south of the Sarasota High football stadium and west of the school’s Rudolph-designed Building 4. The plan calls for renovation of approximately 235 linear feet of the geometrically complex concrete structure, including removal of pipes and conduits, patching, waterproofing and painting. Sections of the canopy were taken down in 2015 and 2016 to facilitate renovations of both the Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA) building and the Rudolph-designed gymnasium.
    “It was a pleasure to be part of the effort to save and rehabilitate the Rudolph canopy walkway in partnership with the Sarasota County School Board. This has been a year-long collaboration with a win-win result for all parties,” said SAF Board Member Dr. Michael Kalman. “Like the 2015 accord we reached with Ringling College of Art + Design to preserve the canopy section next to SMOA, this new agreement with the School Board is great news for fans of Paul Rudolph’s work. The canopy walkway links the Rudolph buildings on the Sarasota High campus with the historic 1927 building that is being transformed into the art museum. Education and art in all its forms — including architecture — will be celebrated and showcased at this center of creativity and learning. We’re pleased that SAF is playing a key role in this ongoing community success story.”  
    Dr. Kalman and Sarasota Magazine Founder Emeritus Dan Denton each donated $15,000 to the $34,000 project budget, with the remainder coming from SAF’s preservation fund. Following completion of the restoration, SAF will install a plaque on one of the canopy pillars, explaining the architectural significance of the covered walkway.
    “This agreement is a great example of a community initiative,” said Sarasota County Schools Assistant Superintendent/Chief Operating Officer Scott Lempe. “The plan for the canopy walkway at Sarasota High, developed by SAF and district staff, follows a successful effort five years ago to get suggestions from citizens about improvements and additions to the campus.”
    The 2012 collaboration among SAF, the School Board, Harvard Jolly Architecture, Jonathan Parks of Solstice Planning & Architecture and the Sarasota community resulted in the establishment of guidelines for the renovation of the campus’s Building 4. The canopy restoration will be part of the final phase of the SHS renovations scheduled to be completed in July 2017. When finished, the Sarasota High campus enhancements are projected to cost approximately $42 million.
    “SAF, our dedicated membership and modern architecture enthusiasts around the world will take great pride in the outcome of the Paul Rudolph canopy preservation project. We look forward to a formal dedication later this year, and are excited about the prospect of seeing the structure much as it would have appeared almost 60 years ago.” said Janet Minker, Sarasota Architectural Foundation Board Chair
    The dedication ceremony details will be announced this summer.

    A large section of the Paul Rudolph-designed canopy walkway on the west campus of Sarasota High School, installed in the 1960s, will be restored following an agreement reached by the Sarasota County School Board and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF). Photo by Elliott Himelfarb, SAF.

    The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF), a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the Sarasota School of Architecture movement, helping to preserve and rehabilitate its irreplaceable buildings, and demonstrating its relevance to the contemporary built environment. A copy of our official registration and financial information #SC-1050 may be obtained from the Florida Division of Consumer Services by calling Toll-Free 800-435-7352 within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the state. FEIN 04-3699738.

  • 24 Apr 2017 9:59 AM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)

    This is the time of year when the Sarasota area starts raking in its usual haul of architecture awards.

    Cindy Peterson and Carl Abbott got things rolling recently.

    Abbott, whose Sarasota practice passed the 50-year mark last year, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Florida’s architecture school. He earned his degree there before going on to study under Paul Rudolph at Yale in the early 1960s.

    Peterson, as if her 2016 honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects-Florida/Caribbean chapter were not enough, will go to Orlando next week to collect the same honor, except this time from the national AIA.

    For Peterson, earning such an honor requires an enormous amount of work and sacrifice to advance the cause of a profession in which she has only a supporting role.

    The wife of prominent Sarasota architect Guy Peterson, Cindy is his firm’s archivist, earned a master’s degree in library science, curated the architectural archives at the University of Florida, co-founded the Center for Architecture Sarasota, acquired the Scott Building in downtown Sarasota as CFAS’ headquarters and commanded its renovation. She also partnered with the University of Florida’s CityLab architectural program, chairs CFAS’ board of directors and produces a steady stream of educational exhibits and events, including the fundraising Modern Show on May 13.

    And, she has a day job — executive director of the Elling Eide Center for Asian Studies, where she oversees the cataloging and curating of the late Sinologist’s mammoth collections of books, art and artifacts.

    “Honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects is an accomplishment achieved by only those that dedicate years advocating for the profession,” said Joyce Owens, a Fort Myers architect who is the 2017 AIA-Florida president. “Cynthia Peterson has dedicated a lifetime.

    “In her new role as a visionary member of Florida Foundation for Architecture, she will utilize her passion and expertise as a preservationist of architectural archives to curate traveling architectural exhibitions around the state.”

    Said Tampa architect Mickey Jacob, AIA’s 2013 national president, “She has touched the architecture profession in a way that not many people have touched it ever,” Jacob said. “She has a transformative way of thinking about architecture, from both a practice concept to an educational process and a historical context, as well. Her enthusiasm in being a vocal advocate for what architecture does in our communities, and being someone who believes that design makes lives better and actually lives that, is something that you rarely see.

    How does design make lives better? By creating spaces and places that are efficient, comfortable, visually appealing and that create interactions between people and their surroundings, Jacob said.

    “Understanding how buildings touch the pedestrian environment is an example,” he said. “By taking the CFAS building and repurposing it as a community gathering place, where people come not just to socialize, but to learn and share thoughts, to celebrate, to have social collisions that you normally wouldn’t have with people — this, as a piece of architecture, and her leadership in bringing it in, has created a place that has become a node of energy in your community.

    “We as a profession and the community of Sarasota are very lucky to have Cindy Peterson doing what she does.”

    Early in his career, Abbott worked with Yale classmates Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, who today are two of the most famous architects in the world.

    Meanwhile, Abbott has raked in the awards over five decades in the Florida / Caribbean region. Honors include the Medal of Honor for Design, and no one has won more AIA-Florida “Test of Time” awards “for buildings of enduring significance to the people of the region.”

    Abbott also has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of UF. As a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Abbott has lectured to the World Monument Fund, the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy, DOCOMOMO and the Maya at the Playa Global Conference.

    “Abbott has practiced his craft with a consistency of elegance and experiential quality unparalleled by almost any other architect of his generation,” wrote Robert McCarter, former architecture dean at UF and an architectural historian.

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