Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts
Built in 1926 by John Eberson (1926) with renovations of the theater by Morris Lapidus in 1972, further renovations by R.J. Heisenbottle Architects in 1989-95, and conversion of offices to residential by Victor Morales in 1995.
John Eberson, creator of the ‘atmospheric’ theater concept, designed the illusion of an open-air amphitheater in an exotic setting under a starry, moonlit sky with drifting clouds. Considered one of Eberson’s finest, the setting is an Italian garden, closed in on three sides by the walls of a castle. The theater was the first to be designed with air-conditioning and included an office tower on Flagler Street. The exterior is unique in Miami for its use of pressed brick and Flemish-inspired decoration. The theater is one of only two surviving atmospheric theaters to survive in Florida.
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