PRINT December 2001

Philip Nobel


1 Best Exit: Morris Lapidus (1902-2001) God bless Morris Lapidus for showing us how to go out in style. Five decades ago the architect was excommunicated from modernism for having too much fun with a series of Miami Beach hotels. He carried on so quietly that many assumed he had died, until he was swept up in the sudden love for all things midcentury. Lapidus began his belated victory lap by claiming Frank Gehry had stolen his licks. And when he was honored at the White House last year, he didn’t wallow in his glory. A few minutes before the ceremony Lapidus was railing to the press about being slandered in the New York Times. (The article in question was published in 1964.) At an awards dinner in New York in November 2000, he stood up from his wheelchair, walked very slowly to the podium, and wagged a crooked finger at the entire design world. ’What’s the most important thing

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