clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lapidus Recalls His Union Square Creation... Sort Of

So did architect Morris Lapidus remember his recently-demolished Union Square building? According to a NYT article from 1998 dug up by several alert Curbed readers, he did indeed:

Now nearly 96, Mr. Lapidus lives in Miami Beach, in one of the 1,300 buildings that he designed during his six-decade career. At first, he could not remember the Union Square building, but then "that little glass tower" came back to him. "I did it as an attention-grabber," he said.
Interestingly, at the time of the building's restoration in 1998, preservations slagged the owner for restoring the outside while doing away with some of the original interiors. More on what went down back then after the jump, including the quote, "Mr. Lapidus was a wild guy."

From the NYT story, July 19, 1998 by Dennis Hevesi:

Michael Gotkin, a consultant with the Municipal Art Society, a nonprofit preservation group, said the building had "a very dramatic, proto-space-age interior, featuring a free-form, cantilevered mezzanine and a suspended staircase."

"They preserved the staircase," Mr. Gotkin said, "but demolished the mezzanine. We applaud what they are doing on the outside, but we're disappointed that the interior could not be preserved." Mr. Reimnitz said the interior was changed to create more retail space.

Although the Union Square building is of rather simplified design, Mr. Reimnitz assessed Mr. Lapidus and most of his work as an extension of the modernist style. "While other 50's architecture was about stripping out ornamentation, decoration," he said, "Mr. Lapidus was a wild guy -- in your face, flamboyant. He had fun with his architecture."

· Rebuilding Lapidus' OddJob Building? [Curbed]