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T+L Reports: Checking Into Glamour

The names Leonard Schultze and S. Fullerton Weaver may not ring a bell, but the buildings they created loom large on the American landscape. In the twenties and thirties, these prolific New York architects designed some of the grandest, most glamorous hotels in the United States: the Breakers in Palm Beach; the Biltmore in Coral Gables; Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria, Sherry-Netherland, and Pierre. On November 13, the Wolfsonian–Florida International University museum in Miami Beach will open "In Pursuit of Pleasure: Schultze & Weaver and the American Hotel" (305/531-1001; www.wolfsonian.org; through May 28), an exhibition (cosponsored by T+L) showcasing these and other pioneering retreats designed by the pair. The curators have drawn heavily on original architectural plans and sketches from the Wolfsonian's archives, as well as materials that put the firm's buildings in a broader cultural context. Decorative objects and renderings of the opulent public spaces—a dining room at the Breakers inspired by a Florentine palazzo, a grille from the Waldorf-Astoria decorated in a Scandinavian motif—trace the period's trend toward exotic, escapist interiors. Detailed building plans and photographs reveal the carefully choreographed modern infrastructure developed to serve large numbers of discriminating guests (and, in many cases, full-time residents). Site maps chart the hotels' impact on urban planning in the early 20th century. —RAUL BARRENECHE

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