Category: Florida

The Digest. 09.03.08. On-the-road edition.

Micanopy Fl
Micanopy. (Photo by C-M.)

Hey Folks: Had an unexpected window of free time, so here’s a little Digest for y’all, straight from the wilds of Florida. xox, C.

Paul Rudolph’s Riverview High School in Sarasota to be demolished.

Riverview High School Sarasota
Rudolph’s Riverview High School in Sarasota, Fla. Built in 1958. (Photos by C-M.)

Sad news: The Sarasota, Fla. school board voted to demolish Paul Rudolph’s historic Riverview High School to make way for parking and ballfields, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports today. The decision was made largely because of a lack of funds needed to update the buildings to other uses. This ends a two year effort by preservationists to save the historic, Modernist high school. (See a view of the school in 1958 here.)

This is unfortunate for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that as Rudolph’s smaller structures are razed, it leaves us with ever fewer examples of the architect’s graceful early works, which, in my mind, are far more intriguing than his later buildings, which are all about concrete-heavy brutalism.

After the jump, more pix of RHS I snapped when I trespassed all over Sarasota last summer to check out the city’s trove of Modernist buildings.

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Photos: Frank Lloyd Wright at Florida Southern College.

Frank Lloyd Wright
Esplanade detail of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed campus at Florida Southern College, in Lakeland. (Photos by C-M.)

One of the benefits of getting sent to Orlando on assignment is that it put me just an hour from Lakeland, the home of Florida Southern College, and the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world (built 1938-58). As with most Wright structures, the story of their construction is as interesting as the buildings themselves. In this case, the tiny, Methodist institution got Wright’s designs built by relying on unpaid college students working off their tuition. Some of the structures have recently undergone a renovation (such as the esplanades, pictured above). Further restoration is in the works. These buildings, if you’re anywhere in Central Florida (they’re only 45 minutes from Tampa; 90 minutes from Sarasota), are definitely worth a visit.

Click on photos to see them large. Money shots after the jump.

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