Son of Morris Lapidus (an architect). Education: Graduate of Columbia University School of Architecture, 1963.
Everything by Design: My Life as an Architect, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Alan Lapidus, creator of many luxury hotels and other high-profile buildings, tells the story of his career in Everything by Design: My Life as an Architect. In 1963, after graduating from the Columbia University School of Architecture, he joined his father's firm, at which Morris Lapidus designed the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels in Miami and the Palais Royale nightclub in New York City. These and other efforts produced both commercial success and critical disdain. According to his son, the elder Lapidus emphasized the need to "design for your client's clients," a philosophy Alan Lapidus put into practice at his own firm, which he founded in 1976 and where his services to prominent clients have made him, as a reviewer for Shelf Life put it, "an architect for the rich and famous."
For Donald Trump, Lapidus designed the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and numerous other projects. Lapidus's book praises Trump as both an astute businessman and a devoted friend. The architect also discusses his work for the Walt Disney Company—he designed the Hilton Hotel at Disney World in Orlando, Florida—and other projects ranging from a public swimming pool in a poor neighborhood of Brooklyn to the Caesar's Palace hotel-casino complex in Las Vegas. Everything by Design details successes as well as challenges, including financial problems and Lapidus's often strained relationship with his father.
Several critics praised Everything by Design and its intimate view of the commercial architecture business. Peter S. Kaufman, writing in Library Journal, described the book as "earnest, entertaining, even-handed, and eventful," while Booklist contributor Kevin Nance called it "delightfully breezy and yet seriously informative." A Kirkus Reviews commentator, however, found it "not nearly so charming as the lobbies Lapidus designs." The critic deemed the narrative ill-organized and Lapidus's depiction of Trump overly admiring. In Nance's opinion, though, Lapidus was "affectionate but clear-eyed" in portraying his famous client. Julia Vitullo-Martin, writing for the New York Post Web site, pronounced the book "hilarious." A Shelf Life reviewer characterized Lapidus as "a great storyteller," and summed up the book as enjoyable "both as a personal memoir" and as a portrait of "the foibles and excesses of the real estate world."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Lapidus, Alan, Everything by Design: My Life as an Architect, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, September 1, 2007, Kevin Nance, review of Everything by Design: My Life as an Architect, p. 36.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2007, review of Everything by Design.
Library Journal, October 1, 2007, Peter S. Kaufman, review of Everything by Design, p. 69.
Newsweek, June 26, 1989, "The Temples of Lapidus: Forget Mere Beauty. What This Architect Aims for in All He Designs, Is Unparalleled Gorgeousness," p. 64.
Restaurant-Hotel Design International, June 1, 1990, "Alan Lapidus Associates Architects, New York City," p. 26.
New York Post,http://www.nypost.com/ (January 6, 2008), Julia Vitullo-Martin, "Ahead of the Curve: An Architect Who Rounded a Corner."
Shelf Life,http://shelflifeblog.blogspot.com/ (October 4, 2007), review of Everything by Design.