Can Somebody Save the Midcentury Gulf American Building’s Sexy Sun Shades?
The old INS Building, originally known as the Gulf American Building and an under-appreciated midcentury modern icon just outside the boundary of the Biscayne Boulevard MiMo District, is losing its signature anodized aluminum sun shades. Photographer Brett Hufgizer (see more at BrettHufziger.com) noticed construction workers removing the distinctive architectural elements from the facade yesterday. The building (historic photo below) originally had a glassed-in lobby and distinctive rooftop news ticker. As I once pointed out on Curbed Miami, the screens were used to shade the building’s windows from the direct light of the sun, in the days before solar tinting. They doubled as a place for architectural display. At the very top was a funky ‘GA’ logo. Plans are for the structure to be gutted to its shell and remade into the Triton Center, a mixed-use residential, commercial, and hotel project, with metal panels that ‘highlight’ to some extent elements of the original building’s design, by architecture firm ADD Inc. (update: the hotel will be a Hilton Garden Inn) Meanwhile the shades need a last minute salvation. If the sun shades can’t be saved in the ‘new’ building, maybe somebody can find use for them somewhere else.