'Conversation' at Jewish Museum Surrounds One of Founders of MiMo


Michelle F. Solomon, Editor

"Giller on Giller: An Adventure in Architecture," a unique view of South Florida's history seen through the evolving architecture of the past 75 years, is on view through October at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.

On Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m., the Jewish Museum presents "Designing the Good Life: A Conversation with Ira Giller and Sarah Giller Nelson."

The life and work of Norman M.Giller, one of the founders of Miami Modern (MiMo), a regionalized style of Modernist architecture, will be discussed by Norman Giller's son, Ira, and his daughter, Sarah.

The exhibition provides a unique historical journey through an ongoing evolution of the architectural work of one of Miami's oldest architectural firms. Sarah and I will share that journey from an insider's perspective during our conversation according to Ira Giller, A.I.A., about the Thursday evening event.

Through the use of new materials and technology, Giller was able to realize his ideas in a post-war II booming Florida. Two of his projects, The Carillon Hotel and The Diplomat Hotel are iconic symbols of the glitz and glamour that transformed Miami into an urban playground.


The exhibition features vibrant artwork and commentary from Ira Giller and also includes Giller's continuum of work in the next generation under Ira Giller's leadership.

"Giller's work demands attention and recognition and there is no one better than his son, architect Ira Giller, to guide us through this retrospective of Giller's work," according to the museum. "With Ira's invaluable insight, the projects shown here are more than just brick and mortar, they are windows into a man's creativity. Ira's own style builds upon Norman's legacy with his creative ingenuity as well as adding much to the narrative with his renowned work as well."

Anyone who regularly drives into Miami Beach on the Julia Tuttle Causeway knows the Giller Building: an angular tower that soars above the gateway to Miami Beach, embellished with green, yellow, and red glass mosaic tiles. Attached to the structure is an office building, white in color with ribbon windows hugging the mid-century design and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in1957, the Giller Building is one of hundreds of recognizable Miami facades designed by the legendary architect Norman M. Giller, FAIA. Giller's designs also included the Copa City Night Club, the North Shore Community Center, the Shapiro Residence, the Singapore

Designing the Good Life: A Conversation with Ira Giller and Sarah Giller Nelson, Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 to 8 p.m., Jewish Musum of Florida, 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.

The event is free but an RSVP is required. An ice cream reception follows.

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