With all the hullabaloo surrounding the soon-to-be-demolished iconic Coconut Grove dive restaurant Scotty's Landing, few have questioned the loss of the organic modernist restaurant next door to Scotty's Landing, the Chart House. In the second half of the 20th century, Chart House was an upscale chain of steak and seafood restaurants known of their architecturally interesting buildings that were often in geographically interesting locations. The Palm Springs Chart House, designed by Ken Kellogg in 1978, looked like a giant crustacean, or a seashell, nestled among the desert sands. None other than 60s/70s singing icon Nancy Sinatra herself was fighting for the preservation of that one, before it went up in smoke in 2012. The Jacksonville Chart House made the AIA Florida's list of Top 100 Florida Buildings.
Many Chart Houses were excellent examples of organic modernist architecture, and Coconut Grove's Chart House was no exception. Photog Michael Wayne Cole took some pictures of the restaurant in its last days. The restaurant's angular birdlike forms seem to evoke the old Pan Am seaplane hangars it's located behind. Or does the building's low profile suggest some kind of aircraft descending to the water? Large plate glass windows gave broad water views out to Biscayne Bay from a dark, cave-like interior to the wide expansiveness of the world beyond.
So, what say you dear readers, should the Chart House be saved? And we haven't yet been able to find the architect. If anyone knows who designed it, do let us know please.
UPDATE: We hear word from a Curbed reader that the architect was the great Alfred Browning Parker, but we're looking for more evidence to prove this. If you know the architect of the Chart House, please do clue us in.
UPDATE #2: Thanks to an anonymous commenter for revealing the architect of the Chart House to be Joe Lancor, of Honolulu. It's on his website.
· 1978 Organic Mod Chart House Burns In Rancho Mirage [Curbed LA]
· Chart House restaurant [Palm Springs Preservation Foundation]
· Chart House Restaurant [AIA Top 100 Buildings]
· Chart House Restaurant coverage [Curbed Miami]
· Alfred Browning Parker coverage [Curbed Miami]