I’m finishing a fascinating new book that references Morris Lapidus (1902-2001), the remarkable architect who died 13 years ago this month. Lapidus became best known for his neo-baroque “Miami Modern” Fontainebleau (1954) and Eden Roc (1955-56) hotels in Miami Beach, featuring dramatic public spaces that provided visitors with a sense of adventure and escape. Oh, and don’t forget that infamous stairway to nowhere.
But, before Lapidus gave us those now-famous architectural details dubbed woogles, beanpoles and cheese holes, he embraced store design as a profession after earning his architectural degree from Columbia University in 1927. (He also dabbled in stage design, costuming and acting as an undergrad at NYU.) He would go on to work with Ross-Frankel, a firm specializing in retail storefronts, for 15 years. Continue reading →