CFAS Kicks Off Architecture Month



In conjunction with The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Florida Gulf Coast chapter, the Center for Architecture Sarasota (CFAS) hosts a month-long celebration of Florida's architectural heritage, with a calendar full of events dedicated to the best design the state has to offer. To kick off the third annual October Design Month, CFAS threw an opening night party last Friday, where Board Chair Cynthia Peterson and Vice Board Chair Sandra Timpson Motto awarded scholarships to the UF CityLab graduate students housed within the CFAS McCulloch Pavilion, as well as unveiled plans for both the October and the 2016–2017 program lineup.

The first announcement came in the form of Building a Day—an e-newsletter written by Peterson delivered to each subscriber's inbox every morning with details on a significant piece of architecture around the state. While Peterson didn't give any tips about this year's roster, last year's buildings and structures included such iconic pillars as the Skyway Bridge. “It’s the best, the unusual and the unknown in Florida,” says Peterson. “It’s both historical and what’s happening in architecture now. The last day is always about the future of architecture in Sarasota.” Another exciting reveal came with Peterson's disclosure of a permanent exhibition that will be hung in the CFAS building year-round, as well as the addition of the McCulloch Pavilion to the National Register for Historic Places. “To be recognized nationally as a resource for historic preservation is a huge feather in our cap,” says Peterson.

The October events will begin on October 7, with the opening of the Bayfront Sketches Exhibit, showcasing UF CityLab students' visions for the Sarasota Cultural Bayfront. “There’s no preconceived notions,” says Peterson. “The six graduate students have presented this wonderful vision, each with a specific building on the Cultural Bayfront. They’re looking at it with fresh eyes.” The next day (October 8) will open with an exclusive members-only tour of the newly-constructed Eide Center, a 17,000-square-foot building that houses the Eide Asian and American art collection, archives and the Elling O. Eide Library, believed to be the largest private collection of Asian literature in the US including an important collection of rare books and maps. Guests will tour the interior of three-story building with short talks by project architect Guy Peterson, FAIA, interior designer David K. Lowe and landscape architect Michael Gilkey, while a driving tour will allow guests to see some of the historic 72 acres of unique bio-diverse landscape. The Eide Center officially opens on October 19 but will not be open to the general public.

On October 22, John McCarthy will host a historical walking tour—the season kicks off with his "Citrus Tour" of downtown citrus-centric streets (think Orange, Lemon, Pineapple). Distinguished American architect Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, on October 27 will discuss public architecture, CFAS' focus for the 2016–2017 season. “He does architecture where you least expect it with the most lovely of articulation and minimal budgets,” says Peterson. “He really shows how architecture can happen anywhere.”

For more information on CFAS' upcoming season, visit

Photo courtesy of CFAS.

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