The Making of Miami Beach: 1933-1942: The Architecture of Lawrence Murray Dixon

The Making of Miami Beach: 1933-1942: The Architecture of Lawrence Murray Dixon

by Allan Shulman
     
 

"Lawrence Murray Dixon (1901-1949) was a native Floridian whose career started in New York where he worked for Schultze and Weaver, the firm famous for designing the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Like most of the architects practicing in the boomtown that was post Depression Miami Beach, Dixon was outside the American architectural establishment - he did not receive a…  See more details below

Overview

"Lawrence Murray Dixon (1901-1949) was a native Floridian whose career started in New York where he worked for Schultze and Weaver, the firm famous for designing the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Like most of the architects practicing in the boomtown that was post Depression Miami Beach, Dixon was outside the American architectural establishment - he did not receive a complete architectural education, nor did he complete anything like a grand tour. He was nevertheless the most prolific architect practicing in Miami Beach in the late 1930s and early 1940s, building all types of commercial and residential buildings from the smallest house to the most lavish oceanfront hotels. Perhaps most importantly, Lawrence Murray Dixon was one of the first architects to build large-scale hotels in the Art Deco style in Miami Beach, bringing in the jazz age style of machine-age optimism and prosperity. Yet, what makes Miami Beach remarkable is not only the way in which Dixon and his colleagues used Art Deco to meet the local need for lower cost resort architecture, but the way in which they adapted the style to incorporate local motifs and historical styles. The result is the unique architecture of South Beach, as it is now known, the largely restored international vacation hotspot, and the country's first twentieth-century architectural district to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places." "Dixon's archive, one of the era's most complete, is now in the collection of Miami Beach's Bass Museum of Art. Its drawings and marvelous duotone photographs (mostly from New York photographers Gottscho & Schleisner) form the backbone of this book and show these landmark buildings in their original, pristine state. Allan Shulman and Jean Francois Lejeune were afforded full access to this treasure trove of rare images. But their research and writing is not limited to Art Deco architecture in Miami Beach alone - Shulman and Lejeune look to the World's Fairs, the skyscrapers of New Yor

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Editorial Reviews

New Yorker
"He is the best PUDDING for mosquitoes that I ever saw. They work on him fast and vicious." The subject of this impish characterization, offered by the Palm Beach Post in 1918, was Addison Mizner, the three-hundred-pound bon vivant and Jazz Age architect credited with transforming the swampy coast of southern Florida into a thriving "Venice-on-the-Atlantic." In Boca Rococo, Caroline Seebohm tells how Mizner feasted on Florida's untapped possibilities the way the local insects feasted on him. With his pet chows and monkeys in tow, Mizner brought outlandish panache -- and a heaping helping of Mediterranean Revival -- to Palm Beach and envisioned Boca Raton as an audacious "Dream City in the Western World."

Mizner eventually went bust. But down in Miami Beach an improbable boom was taking off just as the Depression was digging in its heels. As Jean-Fran�ois Lejeune and Allan T. Schulman point out in The Making of Miami Beach: 1933-1942, the architect Lawrence Murray Dixon used the streamlined forms of Art Deco to create the iconic hotels that still lure sun seekers to the former site of mangroves and avocado orchards. In the nineteen-sixties, Florida continued to attract big dreamers, notably Walt Disney. Married to the Mouse, by political scientist Richard E. Foglesong, shows how Disney, for better and worse, turned sleepy Orlando into the world's most popular tourist destination. Echoing Mizner's hopes for a modern Dream City, Disney World's Epcot Center was originally planned as a glistening urban utopia. But, in keeping with the whimsical ways of the Sunshine State, it mutated into a theme park. (Mark Rozzo)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780847822805
Publisher:
Rizzoli
Publication date:
03/28/2001
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 11.80(h) x 1.10(d)

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