Travel back to the future with Mid-Century Modern – Orlando Sentinel

It’s the time of yr once we’re doubtless to encounter at the very least one nicely-that means soul who’ll ask us, in the spirit of seasonal chitchat, “Are you prepared but? Lists crossed off? Presents all wrapped?” To which I'll outwardly smile and inwardly utter a bit of strangled scream.

I'm prepared in a technique at the very least for the New Yr: I’m armed with a pleasant large calendar, courtesy of Orlando’s Historic Preservation Board, and you'll have one, too.

The theme for 2018, Mid-Century Modern, includes a type that seemed to the future, particularly in the 1950s and ’60s — “an thrilling and advancing interval in American historical past, together with the House Race, Chilly Warfare, and Civil Rights motion,” in accordance to the info-wealthy notes that accompany every month.

It was time when many Individuals “had religion in ourselves that we may do something,” architect Harold “Bud” Dietrich famous in an article about Mid-Century Modern type. “And our properties actually seemed each bit as in the event that they have been prepared to take us there.”

It’s additionally a mode with many followers, together with members of the Nils M. Schweizer Fellows, who've promoted consciousness of Central Florida’s Mid-Century Modern structure for greater than a decade (see

Schweizer, the group’s namesake, was an influential Central Florida architect for 30 years (he died in 1988). A pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright, he put his stamp on the space in lots of properties, church buildings and public buildings. In 1985 Schweizer’s agency designed the enlargement of the 1966 Orlando Public Library, which is represented in the 2018 Historic Preservation Board calendar.

Icons and past

The calendar additionally consists of one other metropolis icon, the 1957 fountain in Lake Eola. Most picture topics are much less well-known, and the calendar’s notes about them provide introduction to the traits of Mid-Century Modern, together with distinctive rooflines, patterned concrete-block partitions, and the use of metal and glass.

Partitions of glass, for instance, are featured in the picture for March: a 1964 house designed by architect Manfred Lopatka, who opened his architectural apply in Winter Park in 1958. His first native design, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Par Avenue, employed concrete block, metal and geometrical shapes of glass. (Lopatka died in 2016 at age 93; his grandson Jarrod Lopatka can be a Central Florida architect.)

The calendar’s Mid-Century Modern designs type come from a interval that noticed Orlando’s biggest interval of development, with the opening of the Glenn L. Martin Co. and Minute Maid headquarters in 1956 and the institution of Florida Technological College (UCF) in 1968 — the similar yr Walt Disney introduced his plans for the future at the Cherry Plaza Resort, on the shores of Lake Eola.

To be taught extra

Copies of the 2018 Orlando Historic Preservation Board calendar can be found at the safety desk at Orlando Metropolis Corridor, 400 S. Orange Ave., and the Orange County Regional Historical past Middle, 65 E. Central Blvd., in downtown Orlando.

Town’s free guided Downtown Orlando Historic Strolling Excursions provide one other good way to find out about historic structure. Upcoming tour dates embody Jan. 5 and Feb. 2. The 90-minute tour begins at the Downtown Data Middle, 201 S. Orange Ave., at 9:30 a.m. Particulars and reservations: Rose Garlick, 407-246-3789.

For extra on Orlando preservation applications, go to cityoforlando.internet/metropolis-planning/historic-preservation.

Mid-Century artwork legends

Legendary Highwaymen artists, who started work throughout the Mid-Century Modern interval, will go to the Orange County Regional Historical past on Sunday (Dec. 10) for a free Meet & Greet occasion from 10 a.m. to four p.m.

The identify “Highwaymen” refers to a bunch of African-American artists from the Fort Pierce space who started portray distinctive Florida landscapes in the late 1950s. They initially offered their work for as little as $20, packing work in the trunks of their vehicles and making highway journeys to cities throughout Florida, the place they marketed their work immediately to small companies. Now the artists are members of the Florida Artists Corridor of Fame. Particulars:

Pleasure Wallace Dickinson will be reached at,, or by good outdated-normal letter at the Sentinel, 633 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801.

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Travel back to the future with Mid-Century Modern - Orlando Sentinel