JACK WEST - ARCHITECT :: By Martie Lieberman www.modernsarasota.com
Jack West building at Bahia Vista and Tamiami Trail, Sarasota Florida. Photo by Martie Lieberman NOTICE the Jack Cartlidge sculpture, front left.
Architect Jack West (1922-2010) was born in Galesburg, Illinois. He obtained a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1944, and served as a Navy officer in the Pacific. West received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Yale in 1949, and was employed with the firm of Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph in Sarasota from 1949-1950. After receiving his architectural registration in Florida, West began his own private practice. In 1953-1954, West partnered with Ralph Twitchell, then re-established his own office in Sarasota.
In November 2001, Jack West joined Gene Leedy, Tim Seibert, Bert Brosmith, Victor Lundy, Mark Hampton, Carl Abbott, John Howey, Robert Broward, Donald Singer, Alfred Browning Parker, William Morgan, Robert McCarter, Frank Folsom Smith, Boyd Blackner, Larry Scarpa, Guy Peterson, the "spirit" of Paul Rudolph, and many architects and scholars who came to Sarasota to participate in five days of tours, lectures, dinners, an exhibition and to screen a documentary film on the Sarasota School made for this event. (The Sarasota Architectural Foundation grew out of this Tour & Symposium.) I met and had the pleasure of working with architect Jack West while co-chairing "An American Legacy: The Sarasota School of Architecture Tour and Symposium" as president of the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, in 2001.
During the symposium Jack West gave a lecture on his work and showed slides of his projects, from the Myrtle West House he designed for his mother (and happily occupied himself, for a time) to the Sarasota City Hall building.
Jack West created a number of beautiful modern commercial and residential buildings in Sarasota, and a few can be seen and visited by the general public today.
In February, 2011, an exhibit was erected in the Sarasota County History Center, called “J WEST ARCHITECT: 60 Years of Sarasota Design” with over 70 architectural projects, from 1949 to 2009. Sadly, Jack West died a few months before the exhibit opened. A very good article by The Sarasota Herald Tribune's real estate editor and architecture writer can be seen here: “Remembering Jack West” by Harold Bubil.
BOOKS ABOUT JACK WEST AND HIS ARCHITECTURE:
TLOAA: The Life Of An Architect, by Jack West, out of print, look for this logo on front cover
The Sarasota School of Architecture 1941 - 1966 by John Howey
Sarasota Modern by Andrew Weaving | Florida Modern by Jan Holstim, Steven Brooke | Florida Architecture: A Celebration by S Keith Bailey, Diane D Greer, John Howey | Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses by Joseph King, Christopher Domin, Ezra Stoller
DOCUMENTARY:An American Legacy: The Sarasota School of Architecture Tour and Symposium DOCUMENTARY by the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota. I was present when Jack West was interviewed for this documentary inside the bank building (pictured above), before its renovation. The documentary also includes interviews with other living architects from the Sarasota School of Architecture who gathered in 2001 for the Tour and Symposium. I might be able to help you find a copy.
FUN FACT: Jack West included sculptures by Jack Cartlidge in many of his built projects, including Sarasota City Hall, with its Cartlidge sculpture titled “Nobody is Listening.” The last known Jack West project, a renovation of the Hannan Residence, can be seen below with its Jack Cartlidge sculpture.
Jack West with Alison Hannan 2006-2007. Note sculpture by Jack Cartlidge, left.
Thanks for your continued interest in Florida's architecture.
All my best to you!
Martie Lieberman, Realtor - Architecture & Design Specialist
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
100 N Tamiami Tr, Downtown Sarasota, FL 34236
941.724.1117 Direct - Call me any time! 941.366.8070 office
Photo Credits: Jack West during WWII from his autobiography, "TLOAA", Jack West exhibit image from Sarasota County History Center, Alison Hannan, Martie Lieberman