Miami's Iconic Architecture Provides Backdrop for AIA's 2010 National Convention

Miami's Iconic Architecture Provides Backdrop for AIA's 2010 National Convention

Vacation News » Vacation & Leisure Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | April 27, 2010 1:40 PM ET

As a major urban center perched between vast natural ecosystems, Miami is known for a strikingly diverse built environment that is barely 100 years old. Within this brief span, the city has constantly reinvented itself, seeking a tangible identity as Florida's largest metropolis.

In this invented landscape, architecture, landscape design, and urban planning have played a particularly important role in creating Miami's modern character and unique identity, making it the perfect home for the 2010 American Institute of Architects' (AIA) National Convention, June 10-12, 2010.

"The iconic architecture of Miami made it the ideal location for this year's convention," said Kricket Snow, President of the Miami Chapter of AIA, "The convention will bring over 18,000 architects to the Miami area and will highlight some of Miami's signature designs while discussing bringing design into the new decade."

Miami Modernist Architecture, better known as MiMo, is a style of architecture from the 1950s and 1960s that originated in Miami, Florida as a resort vernacular unique to Miami and Miami Beach. It was a popular response to the various modernist and post world war architectural movements that were taking place in other parts of the world, adding glamour, fun, and material excess to otherwise stark, minimalist, and efficient styles. Miami Modernism was heavily concentrated in Middle and Upper Miami Beach along Collins Avenue, as well as, along the Biscayne Boulevard corridor starting from around Midtown, through the Design District and into the Upper Eastside.

In 1960, Miami Beach architect, Morris Lapidus, whose credits include the famous Fontainebleau, Eden Roc and Di Lido hotels, designed Lincoln Road, pro bono, while working with Hal Hertz, Lincoln Road merchants and the City of Miami Beach.  Lapidus' vision for Lincoln Road was replete with gardens, fountains, shelters and reflected the exuberance and joy of Lapidus' mid-century Miami style, known today as MiMo.

Prime examples of "MiMO" architecture include also Seacoast Towers and Deauville, also by famed architect Morris Lapidus and Norman Giller's Carillon Hotel which was voted Miami Beach's "Hotel of the Year" in 1959, and the original Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.

Today, the area along Biscayne Boulevard is the designated MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District or also known as "MiMo on BiBo", for "Miami Modern on Biscayne Boulevard". MiMo Historic District runs roughly from 50th Street to 77th Street along Biscayne Boulevard, although MiMo can be found heavily in the Design District and Midtown.

During the convention many of the day excursions and tours will highlight examples of MiMo throughout the city.

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