1952 - Foremost Building (Ainsley Building), Miami
AUTHOR: Morris Lapidus
ADDRESS: 14 NE 1ST Avenue - Miami - Florida - USA

"The 15-story Ainsley Building was the ... more

Foremost Building (Ainsley Building), Miami
Morris Lapidus

Address: 14 NE 1ST Avenue
City: Miami
State: Florida
Country: USA

"The 15-story Ainsley Building was the first post-World War II office building built in Downtown Miami, and one of two Downtown office buildings by Miami’s iconoclast Morris Lapidus. The architect of the Fontainebleau Hotel applied his distinctive Modernist vocabulary to this office building in a somewhat restrained yet expressive manner. While the building’s east façade employs a finely detailed glass curtain wall, the south façade features a play of cantilevered traylike projections that add deph and emphatic horizontality to the Flager Street façade. Reminiscent of Mies van der Rohe’s Concrete Office Building Project of 1923, the trays here serve to shade the windows from Miami’s intense sunlight. Lapidus went on to explore decorative sun-shading devices in other office buildings, including the nearby 150 SE Second Avenue (1966) (A25) and the Meridian Office Building on Miami Beach (1961) (F37). Ironically, he rarely applied the same concern to his iconic hotels. A penthouse, set back on all four sides, with continuous windows shaded by a folded-plate metal canopy, adds a crowning, sculptural touch and offers sweeping views in four directions. However, to the pedestrian, Lapidus’s touch is most evident in the tilted entrance canopy and in the canted tray walls."


SCHULMAN, Allan T., Miami Architecture An AIA Guide Featuring Downtown, the Beaches, and Coconut Grove, Florida: The University Press of Florida, 2010; p. 44


"First Post-War structure built in downtown Miami, the fifteen-story Ainsley Building was originally designed for Herman Greenfeld who lost it to foreclosure. In 1966 the Sunbeam Television Corporation purchased a 99-year leasehold. An elegant curtain wall and cantilevered entrance portico mark the east façade on NE First Avenue. Pronounced horizontal shading along the south (Flager Street) façade and a recessed penthouse floor distinguish the structure. "


NEPOMECHIE, Marilys R. Building Paradise: An Architectural Guide to the Magic City AIA Guide Miami, Miami Florida: AIA Miami, 2010; p.67