Midcentury Masterpiece

By Erik Petersen

Much of Fort Lauderdale’s most robust growth coincided with an architecture and design style that was modern, for-the-people and unapologetically fun. We’re not just modern, we’re Midcentury Modern.


Midcentury Modern architecture can be found everywhere in the United States. Look for it in everything from imposing buildings on the Yale campus to the soaring jet-age whimsy of Seattle’s Space Needle to the place that most singularly personifies the style, Palm Springs.

Counted among Fort Lauderdale’s Midcentury Modern treasures are some of the city’s most well-known landmarks. Pier Sixty-Six is Midcentury Modern, as is the KenAnn Building, the circular structure at the northwest corner of Federal Highway and Oakland Park Boulevard. Just up the road from the KenAnn, the Midcentury Modern subgenre called “Tiki Modernism” – ubiquitous in Polynesian-themed bars across American cities in the postwar years – has one of its last standing examples in the Mai-Kai

Looking around Fort Lauderdale, it’s not hard to make the case that some of the city’s best Midcentury Modern has been preserved because it’s remained viable as commercial property.

Read the full Fort Lauderdale Magazine article HERE.

Karlee Kunkle