Alan Lapidus, Architect of Hotels and Casinos, Dies at 85

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Alan Lapidus, a New York architect with a playful and pragmatic style who created big accommodations and casinos, died on Oct. 15 at his household in Naples, Maine. He was 85.

The lead to was prostate most cancers, his son, Adam Lapidus, said.

Mr. Lapidus’s legacy provided the towering Crowne Plaza Occasions Sq. Manhattan, which was designed to evoke a bedazzled Wurlitzer jukebox the now-demolished Trump Plaza Lodge and Casino in Atlantic City the Caesar’s Palace lodge and on line casino advanced in Las Vegas and the Hilton Lodge at Disney Globe in Orlando.

Right before opening his possess studio in 1976, Mr. Lapidus worked for 13 years for his father, Morris, a formidable designer of flamboyant postmodern resorts in Miami Seashore — the Fontainebleau, the Eden Roc and Americana between them — which gained commercial success along with a form of infamy amongst disdainful critics at the time. (The properties later arrived to be considered as architectural classics.)

But Alan Lapidus, if not his father, been given some good acknowledgement in 1972 in link with the only challenge by the Morris Lapidus firm at any time to attract praise, if gingerly, from Ada Louis Huxtable, then the architecture critic for The New York Occasions. It experienced to do with a public pool and recreation complicated in poverty-stricken Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Ms. Huxtable wrote that while Morris Lapidus, who died in 2001, had conceived the project, “a new design and style philosophy appeared” when Alan Lapidus joined the agency, manifesting by itself in assignments like the pool, which, she judged, “was not glitter, but a serious, innovative solution” to city blight. She pronounced it “good and proper.”

“I never ever described the assessment to my father, but of program he had study it,” Alan Lapidus (pronounced LAP-ih-dus) wrote in his memoir, “Everything by Structure: My Daily life as an Architect” (2007). “And he never ever talked about it to me.”

Credit history…Peter Simon

Mr. Lapidus did not check out to outdo his father, whose motto was “too substantially is hardly ever plenty of.” But he adopted his guidance, planning palatial lodgings and capacious gambling halls to develop “participatory theater,” he wrote, in which attendees could “indulge and satisfy their fantasies.”

“His theory was, if you create the phase location and it is grand, everybody who enters will perform their part,” Alan Lapidus reported. He embraced a different of his father’s axioms: “Design for your client’s shoppers.”

To do so would need curvaceous motifs to do away with extensive, gloomy corridors, for instance, or windows established reduced to the floor to make lodge rooms brighter and company sense taller. It also meant accommodating a good deal of retailers and spas.

“The main issue of the administration of each casino I’ve made,” Mr. Lapidus stated, “has been how to occupy the wife or girlfriend and preserve her away from her gentleman while he’s getting rid of the property finance loan cash.”

Alan Harvey Lapidus was born on Sept. 27, 1936, in Brooklyn and elevated in the Flatbush community. His father was an immigrant from the Black Sea metropolis of Odessa. His mother was Beatrice (Perlman) Lapidus, a homemaker.

He graduated from Midwood Superior University, in which he was voted “Best Writer,” even though his classmates involved Erich Segal, the future Yale classics professor who would produce the greatest-marketing novel “Love Story” and other textbooks. If not for tension from his family to do or else, Mr. Lapidus the moment said, he would have become an creator, way too.

But he reported he grew to become far more amenable to architecture just after seeing Gary Cooper enjoy an architect in the 1949 movie “The Fountainhead” obtaining a passionate moment with his boss’s daughter. (“That will put any feelings about dental faculty on your again burner,” Mr. Lapidus wrote.)

He enrolled in Trinity School in Hartford, Conn., but dropped out immediately after his sophomore 12 months to join the Military. He then attended Columbia’s Faculty of Basic Experiments and graduated from the university’s School of Architecture in 1963.

His marriages to Rochelle Greenberg and Nancy Hoffman ended in divorce. In addition to his son, from his marriage to Ms. Greenberg, he is survived by his spouse, Caroline Worthington, a concert cellist and four grandchildren.

Mr. Lapidus was also a certified pilot and, even though operating as an architect, served a stint as an auxiliary law enforcement officer in New York City. His coming up with career included encounters with shoppers associated in structured crime and an episode, he said, in which 4 government brokers pretended to be his firm’s associates on a flight to Havana at a time when the Clinton administration was secretly making an attempt to normalize relations with Cuba.

Between the other projects Mr. Lapidus worked on had been the Gild Hall resort in Manhattan’s Financial District and the vacation resort hotel El Conquistador in Puerto Rico.

In his book, he could not volunteer plenty of praise for Donald J. Trump, who had hired Mr. Lapidus to layout the glitzy Trump Plaza Resort and Casino in Atlantic Metropolis. (The making experienced a somewhat short lifetime, nonetheless. Opened in 1984, it was demolished in February, less than a thirty day period right after Mr. Trump still left the White Household and about a dozen a long time just after he experienced lower ties with the resort and casino in a collection of bankruptcy filings, even though his title experienced remained attached to it.)

Mr. Lapidus was 18 when he to start with fulfilled Mr. Trump, who was just a boy at the time, through their fathers. Morris Lapidus was performing with the developer Fred Trump on an apartment intricate in Brooklyn at the time, in the mid-1950s. In his ebook, Mr. Lapidus explained Donald Trump as “the most honorable developer I’ve at any time labored with.”

He took a dimmer check out of his own career, even though, in mild of a occupation that involved individual bankruptcy and the partial collapse of a constructing he was doing the job on in Puerto Rico.

Right after working with developers, loan companies and finnicky customers and exploring that only about one particular-3rd of the constructions he devised really acquired crafted, Mr. Lapidus concluded in his memoir that “the surest method of obtaining loaded from designing buildings is not so significantly to layout them as to individual them.”

“Architecture has been identified as ‘the 2nd-oldest occupation,’” he wrote, “but often it bears a shut resemblance to its more mature sister.”