Mike Hastings and Clarissa Carr organized the first tour. Clarissa was a PhD candidate at the University of Florida and was coordinating the second annual Preservation South Conference for preservation students. Mike, as a Realtor, had represented a number of buyers of mid-century modern homes. Partnering with Alachua Habitat for Humanity, the University of Florida’s Historic Preservation Program and the Gainesville Sun, the tour attracted 125 people that first year and 10 sponsors.
In 2014, Gainesville Modern had formed, and the mid-century modern home tour had a new official home. We expanded to on-line advertising and social media and the tour more than doubled in attendance. We expanded the tour to include a talk and opening night reception on Friday, March 21st, 2014. An evening with author Christopher Rawlins- Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction. Gifford was a UF Architecture Graduate. Following the talk was a book signing, cocktail party and art opening by Artist Margaret Ross Tolbert. The mid-century modern home tour opened that year on March 22nd in the morning with a lecture by Chris Madrid French on Saving the Modern Century: Historic Preservation in the Next Fifty Years at the Campus Church of Christ. The tour immediately followed.
The third annual Mid-Century Modern Home Tour was held on March 20th and 21st, 2015. Friday night was a film screening and reception with Larry Reinebach “The Seibert Effect.” The film and reception was held at the Hippodrome. The tour started Saturday morning and included 5 area homes plus a bonus. The bonus was a repeat from the year before. There were over 18 sponsors and another strong showing for those in attendance.
In 2016, the slate of events expanded to include the entire weekend. The Gainesville Modern weekend was held March 18th, 19th and 20th. Friday was a lecture by UF Architecture Graduate Guy Peterson and his book “Naked: The Architecture of Guy Peterson.” Saturday was the fourth annual Mid-Century Modern Home Tour of six area homes and 19 sponsors. Sunday was a movie screening at Curia on the Drag of “Eames: the Architect and the Painter.”
2017 Gainesville Modern Weekend was held March 16th through the 19th. The premiere of Drinks & Dwellings: The Merits of Merritt was held at a beautifully restored Harry Merritt-designed residence. Saturday the 17th was the annual Mid-Century Modern Home Tour with 6 area homes. Sunday was a partnership with the Gainesville Fine Arts Gallery and artist Alfred Phillips. The night began with a screening of the documentary “If You Build It” and concluded with the auction of an original work donated by Philips. The GFAA exhibited works around the theme of Mid-Century Modern from February 21st to March 25th. There were 20 sponsors for the weekend.
2018 did not have a GM Weekend.
The Gainesville Modern Weekend was back with a bang in 2019. The events were held from Thursday March 21st through Saturday March 23rd, 2019. Thursday night was a a two-part event. It began with the opening exhibition and reception for “Gainesville Modern Landmarks” at the Matheson History Museum. The end of the night was a lecture and book signing from authors Ron and Barbara Marshall on their book “Concrete Screen Block: The Power of Pattern.” Friday March 22nd was the second annual Drinks & Dwellings VIP Cocktail Reception at the David Reaves designed residence of Dan Stepp in Floral Park. Saturday was the most successful ever Mid-Century Modern Home Tour with seven homes, 550 attendees and 36 sponsors. The end of the weekend was the first volunteer and sponsor thank you party called the Starburst After Party. It was held at the Arthur Campbell designed, Vidal Residence in Florida Park. The theme was Havana Nights.
2020 was the most ambitious slate of events for a Gainesville Modern Weekend. It was to be held March 14th to March 21st, 2020. The kick-off was Drinks & Dwellings. It included walking tours and a brunch. Multiple lectures were planned to include Architect Mick Richmond, Interior Specialist Amanda Carreon, and Architectural Writer of McMansion Hell Kate Wagner. Art show and talk by Architect, author and artist Ron Haase. The mid-century modern home tour and Starburst After Party was to be that Saturday. The events were mostly cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. Ron Haase did hang his art show at the Hippodrome and Richard Wagner and Mary Lynn Jamison were able to have one or two of the downtown walking tours. We had many sponsors for that weekend as well.