On Saturday, October 10th, Adjunct Faculty Glenda Puente hosted the Docomomo Florida / Miami Tour Day 2015. Tour Day is Docomomo US’s annual national event that works to raise the awareness of and appreciation for buildings, interiors, and landscapes designed in the United States during the mid-20th century.
The event organized by Puente, who was recently appointed the President of Docomomo Florida, included a visit to a beautifully remodeled and furnished mid-century modern house in Miami Beach. The house was originally designed by Leonard H. Glasser, who was 29 years old at the time it was built in 1951. Leonard’s younger brother, Robert, joined Leonard’s firm in 1954. Both were graduates of the University of Florida and, together, became a prolific MiMo (Miami Modern) architecture duo. The Glassers were responsible for several buildings throughout South Florida and collaborated with Enrique Gutierrez on the Bacardi Building in Miami. The house in Miami Beach was remodeled by Jessica De Velasco in 2010 and is currently for sale.
The house visit was followed by a cocktail reception at the recently restored Vagabond Hotel (formerly the Vagabond Motel), a landmark of Miami Modern that made it onto the National Register of Historic Places earlier this year. Built in 1953, the Vagabond was designed by the well-known architect Robert Swartburg and is located in the MiMo/Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, an area going through a revival after being in neglect for several years. Swartburg also designed the Delano and Clevelander hotels on South Beach. The multi-million dollar restoration culminated last August and was carried out by developer Avra Jain in a commendable effort to help preserve a treasure of the MiMo era.