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Vote For Your Favorite Florida Building

Just like art, people have varying opinions on what is “good” architecture.

For some it can be as simple as “I know it when I see it.” For others, important design criteria must be met such as “form follows function.”

Either way, the American Institute of Architects Florida is letting people decide their Favorite Florida Buildings through its online People’s Choice Award.

Thirty-nine buildings are on the ballot and much like voting for Major League Baseball All Stars, there’s no limit to how many buildings you can select or how many votes you can cast.

Two Florida cities captured the most nominations with four buildings each: Jacksonville and Sarasota. Other cities in the competition range from Milton to Miami.

Sarasota has some unique building entries including a public restroom pavilion and a veterans’ cemetery.

There’s Patriot Plaza at the Sarasota National Cemetery. The soaring canopied assembly space and art installations -- privately funded by The Patterson Foundation –- are built within the federally run National Cemetery with approval from Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Center for Architecture Sarasota restored the 1959 Scott Building into a museum-quality exhibition space and a lecture hall creating an environment to learn, teach, celebrate, share and advocate for architecture.

The Play Ball Pavilion is a covered shelter and restroom pavilion that replaced several aging structures for a local community park. Designed for family use, the fireplace can also be used as a barbecue grill.

The St. Thomas More Church is an expansion and renovation that keeps the existing structure while almost doubling the capacity from 800 to 1,400 seats. It also features a new Bell tower and the beechwood-clad wall.

Other buildings from the Tampa Bay region: Innovation, Science & Technology Building at Florida Polytechnic University, Lakeland; Le Meridien Hotel in Tampa’s historic federal courthouse; Thompson Elementary School in Ruskin with an updated 1950s approach to the Florida finger plan school with outdoor covered walkways.

Voting in the People’s Choice Competition is open online through July 22, 2016.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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