McKirahan to Breuer: Midcentury Adventures in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton

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This day-long tour highlights the remarkable diversity and creativity of the midcentury architectural styles in Fort Lauderdale and beyond. The majority of the tour is spent in Fort Lauderdale where Midcentury Modern was the predominant style as the city came of age after World War II. Beyond the more commonly known geometric forms of the International Style, there exists especially in Fort Lauderdale a wealth of architecture based upon fanciful sculptural concrete forms which recall a space-age futurism combined with the playful spirit of an oceanside resort.  
The tour is bookended by two noted landmarks associated with architect Marcel Breuer: the Broward County Library in Fort Lauderdale (1980-84) and the former IBM corporate campus in Boca Raton (1968), now the Boca Raton Innovation Center (BriC). The library, led by chief designer Robert Gatje, was one of Breuer’s last projects before he died in 1981 and was a significant project for the then-growing city. It also features a number of commissioned art works, including a ceramic tile mural by Ivan Chermayeff. The library suffered a string of damage from natural disasters and other misfortunes in the early 2000s and finally reopened in 2014. The IBM campus in Boca Raton is impactful for both its architecture and innovation. Completed at the height of Breuer’s career, it is consistent with the style of other well-known works such as the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. IBM relocated here “to isolate itself from the corporate interests of New York” and it must have worked – this is where personal computers as we know them today were developed. The site has now been transformed into a thriving tech hub. 
Tour participants will enjoy lunch in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, a town where Midcentury Modern has been named the “official style” and has been used to encourage continued economic development.  
The tour will be led by Arthur Marcus, architect, photographer and historic preservation consultant who has maintained his private practice of architecture in South Florida since 1992, and Abby Laughlin, Docomomo US/Florida board member and a midcentury modern artist and activist living and working in Fort Lauderdale. 


View Tour Itinerary (PDF)


Bus Tour

Bus will pick up from the Mayfair House Hotel. There will be an opportunity for those based in the Fort Lauderdale area to embark and disembark from the tour at the first tour stop in Fort Lauderdale. 

Saturday, June 1, 9:30am–5pm 
$175 for those departing from and returning to Mayfair House Hotel
$150 for those departing from and returning to Ft. Lauderdale 


All tours will be submitted for AIA credits.