- July 15, 2015
Remember the 1960s? The Sarasota Architectural Foundation does. Its sixth annual SarasotaMOD Weekend focuses on the second wave of “Sarasota School” architecture that crested in that decade. But to really understand the wave’s impact, you have to go to the decade before.
The first wave hit in the 1950s. Paul Rudolph, Ralph Twitchell and other Sarasota-based architects adapted mid-century modernist design principles to our region, fused different schools of thought and added a few innovations of their own. The “Sarasota School of Architecture” became the de facto label for their creations. Before 1967, their work had no label, but by the late 1950s, it was everywhere you looked.
It was a tough act to follow, but that didn’t stop the second wave of Sarasota School architects from making their mark. These included Carl Abbott, Joe Farrell, Frank Folsom Smith, Tim Seibert and Jack West. Some of their legacy is hiding in plain sight.
Call it a legacy of democratization: Their work didn’t simply change the game; it invited more people to play.
“The 1950s was a revolutionary period for area architecture,” says Christopher S. Wilson, SAF board chairman. “But that revolution was largely confined to the upper class. Most of the original Sarasota School structures were on the beach or near the water and had little impact on the lives of everyday people. Unless they subscribed to Architecture Magazine, they wouldn’t even see them.”
Wilson notes that the 1960s changed that. The second wave of the Sarasota School created more visibility and more accessibility. Buildings including Plymouth Harbor and Sarasota City Hall were plain to see across the city.
“These structures are a living legacy, not museum pieces,” Wilson says. “We still live and work in them. And they still have much to teach us today.”
Frank Folsom Smith: A 1960s Sarasota School Architect
This exhibit explores the principles of the architect behind Plymouth Harbor, The Terrace and other iconic area structures.
When: Nov. 8-10
Where: Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail
Info: Call 365-2032.
MOD Opening Party
When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 8
Where: The Sarasota Modern, 1290 Boulevard of the Arts
Sarasota in the Sixties
Architects and historians will investigate the era that changed everything. Author Christopher Domin will moderate the discussion. Architect Frank Folsom Smith will deliver the keynote lecture. Breakfast included.
When: 8:30 a.m. to noon Nov. 9
Where: Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail
When: 1-4 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10
Tickets: $50 to $75
This movable feast boasts cocktails and cuisine in two architectural treasures. The celebration begins in the courtyard of the 1926 Sarasota High School building and wraps up at Paul Rudolph’s mid-century modern auxiliary building from 1960.
Where: Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail
When: 6-9 p.m. Nov. 9
Yoga at the Umbrella House
A sun salutation led by Kris Galea of Yoga from the Heart.
When: 8-9:15 a.m. Nov. 10
Where: Umbrella House, 1300 Westway Drive
MOD Weekend Closing Party
When: 5-7 p.m. Nov. 10
Where: Plymouth Harbor, 700 John Ringling Blvd
Visit SarasotaMOD.com for complete schedules and information.