SARASOTA MOD WEEKEND, NOV. 11-13
The Lundy legacy Sarasota Architectural Foundation will focus on career of Victor Lundy in November By Harold Bubil email@example.com A year after honoring the work of legendary architect Paul Rudolph, the Sarasota Architectural Foundation will spotlight the career of “Sarasota School” great Victor Lundy for its third-annual Sarasota Mod Weekend.
The celebration of the region’s midcentury modern architecture will be held Nov. 11-13, with events at Ringling College of Art + Design and trolley tours of Sarasota. Tickets will go on sale Aug. 15 at SAF-SRQ.org.
“The two really extraordinary architects who worked here (during the 1950s) were Paul Rudolph and Victor Lundy,” Bradenton architect and author Joe King has said of the pair.
The schedule, still being firmed up, calls for an opening reception on Friday evening, Nov. 11, at the “Blue Pagoda,” on North Trail at Boulevard of the Arts. Lundy, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, designed that building in 1956 as the Chamber of Commerce building. Following the reception, a “pop-up” party will be held at the Aloft hotel in downtown Sarasota.
Saturday morning’s events are at Ringling College’s Academic Center Auditorium, with Sarasota Museum of Art as SAF’s partner/sponsor. Following a continental breakfast and welcoming remarks, the biographical Lundy film “A Sculptor of Space” will be presented by its producer, Joan Brierton of the General Services Administration, which owns the Lundy-designed U.S. Tax Court building in Washington, D.C.
A Q&A will follow the screening, followed by a talk by Donna Kacmar, FAIA. She is a professor at the University of Houston and is writing book about Lundy, now 93 and a resident of the Houston suburb of Bellaire.
On Sunday morning, Nov. 13, an event at the Walker Guest House Replica, on the grounds of The Ringling Museums, will feature a lecture by Domin and architect-author-developer King. The weekend closes with a Sunday night party at the Chapell/Lifeso House on Morningside Drive in Lido Shores.
Lundy’s local landmarks include the Murray Homes building on Osprey Avenue just south of Main Street, St. Paul Lutheran Church on Bahia Vista Street, South Gate Community Center, an addition to Alta Vista Elementary School (now significantly altered), Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church, all in Sarasota, and the Herron House in Venice.
Lundy is also known for his talent as a fine artist, particularly with watercolors and sketches. He has often said that his preferred method of communication with a pencil.
“My art form, all my life, has been architecture,” the soft-spoken Lundy says in “A Sculptor of Space” 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 talent as an artist gives his architecture a more curvaceous appearance that the rectangular structures of his contemporaries in the days of the Sarasota School.
“His work is characterized as being ‘Sarasota School,’ but only because it is in Sarasota,” SAF member and architectural historian Christopher Wilson told the Herald-Tribune in 2015. “He went to school with Rudolph at Harvard Graduate School of Design, but they came away with a different understanding of how to make architecture. Lundy’s buildings are very sculptural — they have more roof that they do walls. He is very sculptural and very creative.”
At St. Paul Lutheran Church, and especially at the Herron House, “Lundy used these large, laminated wood beams ... he took a more sweeping and romantic idea of structure with those great roofs he built,” King has said.