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This Year’s Sarasota MOD Weekend Celebrates the Genius of Victor Lundy

The annual three-day festival takes place Nov. 2-5 and will celebrate the centennial of Sarasota School architect Victor Lundy—and a decade of MOD Weekend.

By Kim Doleatto August 18, 2023

Lundy's Blue Pagoda at 655 N. Tamiami Trail boasts his signature sweeping, curved roofline.

If you live in Sarasota and don’t know the architect’s name, you know his work—trust us. During Sarasota School of Architecture pioneer Victor Lundy's eight years in Sarasota, in the 1950s, he designed some of its most curvaceous and eye-catching buildings. Think: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Bahia Vista Street, with its dramatic swooping roof; the classic midcentury modern South Gate Community Center on Phillippi Creek; the geometric Warm Mineral Springs Motel in North Port; and the Herron House in Venice, whose wood-laminate trusses evoke the swoop of birds' wings.

Lundy’s work, aptly decribed as "sculptural modernism," is the focus of the 10th annual Sarasota MOD Weekend, which takes place Nov. 2-5 and will feature new ways to tour and experience Sarasota’s architectural heritage with a special exhibition and symposium that celebrate Lundy, who turned 100 in February of this year. 

The three-day festival kicks off with an opening party at the Sarasota Garden Club at The Bay and includes kayak tours of North Siesta Key with opening remarks by Sarasota School great Carl Abbott; self-guided tours of Sarasota's modern hubs, Lido Shores and South Gate, with full access to many Sarasota School gems; a symposium at Lundy's St. Paul Lutheran Church; a trolley tour of Lundy’s churches, residential and commercial structures; yoga at the iconic Umbrella House; and dinner at White Sands Cabana Club. 

Architect Victor Lundy

A free Sarasota School of Architecture exhibition at the Jack West-designed Sarasota City Hall will show an overview of the Sarasota School movement with drawings, renderings, period photographs and models by Philip Hiss, Paul Rudolph and Lundy.

Lundy's St. Paul's Lutheran Church at 2256 Bahia Vista St.

The weekend’s symposium, titled Victor Lundy and Sculptural Modernism, will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church, with all three buildings of the campus open for viewing. Following a screening of the film Victor Lundy: Sculptor of Space, Architecture Sarasota’s scholar-in-residence Dr. Christopher Wilson will moderate a discussion with a panel of experts: MOD Weekend exhibition curator Christopher Domin, professor of architecture at the University of Arizona; Dr. Susanneh Bieber, professor of architecture at Texas A&M University; and Dr. Eeva-Lissa Pelkonen, professor of architecture and assistant dean at Yale University. They'll discuss the particular form of Lundy’s architectural designs.

Lundy's Herron House in Venice

Image: Brian Soko

After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Lundy pursued architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, studying under masters of modernism like Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and Gropius' former student and collaborator Marcel Breuer. In 1951, Lundy moved to Sarasota and became known for trading in the more rigid lines characteristic of the Sarasota School’s style in favor of complex, curvilinear structures.

To find tickets and a complete list of MOD Weekend events click here.

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