A Pictorial Blog of Things I Make,
Items I Collect, Architecture I Love,
and Other Stuff

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

American Architecture Stamps

In 1998 the post office put out this stamp to acknowledge Art Deco design and chose the Chrysler Building as the American exemplar par excellence.

In 2005 the Chrysler Building also showed up on a stamp--as part of a series commemorating Modern American architecture.

Here's a better look at the stamp.

The Modern Architecture series also had a stamp of the Guggenheim Museum.

But it was not the first time the museum appeared on a stamp. In 1966 this stamp showed Frank Lloyd Wright in front of his Fifth Avenue masterpiece, which opened in 1959, the same year he died.

In 1998 the post office paid tribute to another Art Deco tour de force, the Empire State Building.

Twenty-six years earlier, in 1972, it made its postal debut on this stamp honoring Fiorello LaGuardia.

Also in 1998 came this stamp honoring Robie House, considered the definitive example of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie style, the first architectural style of any kind that was uniquely American.

Here's a picture I once took of the house, looking unchanged from the day of its completion in 1910.

In 2008 arrived this stamp of Case Study House No. 8, designed in 1949 by Charles and Ray Eames. 

Here's a picture I once took of the house, which is in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

In 1979 the post office started a series of stamps honoring American architecture. Here's the block from 1979.

And the block from 1980.

As well as the block from 1981, which . . .

. . . featured the Biltmore Estate, another building I once photographed, as well as . . .

. . . the Palace of Fine Arts, which I recently photographed.

In fact, I am fortunate to have been able to spend time at all of the buildings honored in this series, which concluded with this block in 1982. On the upper left is a stamp of Fallingwater, making Frank Lloyd Wright the most honored architect in American philately--Wrightfully so.

Here's a picture of Mies's Crown Hall, which I took last year. It's the upper right stamp above.

In 1981 this stamp paid tribute to James Hoban, the Irish-born architect of the White House.

This stamp honors no architect or architecture in particular but it does (unintentionally) evoke the look of Battery Park City, the 92-acre landfill in lower Manhattan largely made from soil and rock excavated during creation of the World Trade Center. Construction on the first residential building in Battery Park City began in 1980, 13 years after this stamp came out in 1967.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Modernism in Florida

Two International Style structures make up Miami's Bacardi Complex, and this one, cantilevered 47 feet above the ground, was designed in 1974 by Ignacio Carrera-Justiz. The glass "tapestries" that wrap around the upper level were manufactured under the direction of French stained-glass artisans Gabriel and Jacques Loire after an abstract painting by German artist Johannes Dietz, and they represent an allegory of how rum is made from sugar cane.

In 1963 Enrique Gutierrez designed the first building for the Bacardi Complex. The azulejos (white Majolica tiles painted with oxides) show tropical plants in various tonalities of blue and were designed by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand.

 Marathon: Presbyterian Kirk of the Keys, designed in 1958 by whom I do not know.

 Sarasota: Gateway Bank (1974) by Jack West.

 Lakeland: Annie Pfeiffer Chapel (1941) by Frank Lloyd Wright for the campus of Florida Southern College, which has the largest concentration of Wright buildings in the world.

 A mile and a half of covered walkways designed by Wright wind through the college.

 St. Petersburg: Salvador DalĂ­ Museum (2011) by Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum. 

    Another view of the museum.

 Sarasota: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (1969) by William Wesley Peters, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Fort Lauderdale: Cascading water features and plantings blend masterfully at the U.S. Courthouse and Federal Office Building (1979) by William Morgan and H. J. Ross.

 Coral Gables: Temple Judea (1966) by Morris Lapidus. The trio of arches are said to represent the three purposes of a synagogue: study, assembly and prayer.

 Miami Beach: The five-story parking garage known as 1111 Lincoln Road (2010) by Herzog and de Meuron has 300 parking spaces.

Orlando: Public Library (1966) by John M. Johansen.

 Exposed concrete of the library's stairwell.

Celebration: Philip Johnson designed the city hall in 1996 for this Disney-created town.
To look at more images like the ones above, visit: Modernism in Florida
To look at more contempo architecture in the South, visit: Modernism in the Carolinas