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Step Inside the 1946 Offices of Architect Morris Lapidus

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Welcome back to Monochromes, a Friday mini-series wherein Curbed delves deep into the Library of Congress's photographic annals, resurfacing with an armful of old black-and-white photos of architecture and interior design of yesteryear. Have a find you want to share? Hit up the tipline; we'd love to hear from you.


Despite being best known for speckling Miami with the Neo-baroque and Modern hotels that have since defined old Miami architecture, in the 1940s, architect Morris Lapidus actually had an office headquarters on New York City's 49th Street. These photos, snagged from the Library of Congress' Gottscho-Schleisner Collection, were taken years before Lapidus got his most famous commission, Miami's (James Bond-approved!) Fontainebleau Hotel, and in fact the interiors are far from bold, a surprise coming from a man whose design philosophy was "if you create the stage setting and it's grand, everyone who enters will play their part." Sure, there may be no sweeping curves or layer-cake chandeliers, though the photos are far from boring. Have a look at the midcentury office delights—floating bookcases! wood paneling! glass partitions! a hand coming out of a wall!(??)—in the gallery below.

· Morris Lapidus office in New York City, 1946. [Library of Congress' Gottscho-Schleisner Collection]
· All Monochromes posts [Curbed National]
· All Dwelling posts [Curbed National]
· All 1940s posts [Curbed National]
· All Morris Lapidus coverage [Curbed Miami]