Bubil: Lundy film explores an artist's life


The above headline is deliberately misleading.

This letter is about Victor Lundy, and most who know of him think of Lundy as an architect. But those who know him well know he also is an artist — accomplished at sketching and painting as well as designing iconic spaces.

Lundy, at age 91, is the subject of a 48-minute documentary by the U.S. government’s General Services Administration, which is the keeper of federal buildings, including one of Lundy’s masterpieces, the U.S. Tax Court building in Washington, D.C.

The documentary is exceptionally well made; you can view it online at gsa.gov/portal/content/185759.

If you are interested in architecture, it is worth your time. The film was shown recently at Burns Court by the Sarasota Architectural Foundation.

Lundy is well known to members of the SAF for his 1950s work in Sarasota. Here, he designed the Chamber of Commerce building (the pagoda-like structure with the blue tile roof now used by U.S. Masters Swimming) at Sixth Street and U.S. 41 in Sarasota.

Other Lundy landmarks include the Herron House in Venice, an addition to Alta Vista Elementary School, and St. Paul Lutheran Church on Bahia Vista Street in Sarasota.

In North Port, he designed the Warm Mineral Springs motel, noted for its hyperbolic paraboloid roofs and still standing.

“My art form, all my life, has been architecture,” the soft-spoken Lundy says in the video as he walks through his famous Unitarian Church in Westport, Conn. “It has taken me all this time to become the maker of space that I am. My strength is drawing. My drawing, usually with my ebony pencil, is linked with my thoughts. Visible marks come with words, I think. I have drawn, drawn, drawn all my life.”

Lundy’s buildings also used new materials and bold engineering to sculpt space into something inspiring as well as functional. Sarasota is the better for having him for those few years a half-century ago. He lives in Houston now, but his local legacy will be celebrated again when the SAF presents its first Sarasota Mod Weekend in October.


A recent United Feature Syndicate story in the Saturday Real Estate section by Lew Sichelman overstated the potential for huge mortgage payment increases under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

The worst-possible increases will not drive payments as much as $1,724 higher, as reported, but rather as high as $1,724.

According to the Treasury Department, the average HAMP homeowner will experience a total monthly payment increase of about $200 after all rate increases have taken effect.

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: July 5, 2014
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