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The Architecture of Whimsy: Mid-Twentieth Century Modern Architecture in South Florida

Whimsy is defined as playfully odd behavior; impulsive or illogical or capricious character; and to make fantastic. All describe this subset of mid-20th century modern architecture in South Florida. $12 (1 hr)
Category: @Palm Springs, @CAMP Theater, Book Signing, Kid-Friendly Activity, Presentation, Talk



Photo Gallery
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Full Details

Research conducted during World War II had improved concrete’s strength with an increased ability to cantilever longer distances. After the war architects and engineers took advantage of this improved concrete and designed buildings accentuating forms that expressed the optimism of the times.

Since so many of these buildings in South Florida were hotels and motels built for entertainment and fun, they specifically looked to include some quirky incorporation of curvaceous elements or decorative details or an off-center design to give the building increased ‘curb appeal.’  This whimsical element can often lend gravitas to a building design.

This photographic essay focuses upon Miami / Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale and shows the shared characteristics of this style, as has so often been designed by the same architects in different cities.

Arthur Marcus is an architect, photographer and historic preservation consultant living in South Florida where he has maintained his private practice of architecture since 1992.  A native of Philadelphia, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University and a Master of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University.  Architecture and photography have been life long passions from an early age and one has certainly informed the other over the course and geography of his career.

A book signing will immediately follow the presentation. Marcus' latest book is The Architecture of Whimsy: Mid-20th-Century Modern Architecture in South Florida (Shiffer Publishing Ltd., 2020).


Things to Know

This event is for all ages. 
A book signing will follow this event.
Ample free public parking is available in the multi-level public garage across from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Handicap parking is available. This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.

Event Check-in Location 

CAMP Theater, 285 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
View Map

Photo Credits: 
Arthur Marcus Photography 


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