A Pastel Paradise

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Come back in time with us to Ocean Drive in 1989 and hear directly from MDPL co-founder Leonard Horowitz in this rare documentary that has just been digitized from our archives. In “A Pastel Paradise”, Horowitz shares his vision of Miami Beach and the story behind his famous pastel color palette – now part of the DNA of the Art Deco District and beyond.

This past July 2020 would have been the 75th birthday of Leonard Horowitz. Leonard Horowitz was a young designer from New York, who created window displays for Bloomingdale’s and studied architecture. When Horowitz was 29, his father cut him off financially after discovering Leonard was gay, prompting him to move to South Beach. In Miami, as a member of the Industrial Designers of America, he met and formed an unlikely bond with Barbara Baer Capitman, who was thirty years his senior. They both shared a passion for preservation, design and Art Deco buildings. Horowitz helped Capitman co-found the Miami Design Preservation League in 1976. His contribution also went well beyond that. Wanting to highlight the building’s unique features, Horowitz created a pastel color palette to be used for painting the weathered and neglected buildings. He said, “I formulated my palette on the basis of sunset, sunrise, the summer and winter oceans and the sand on the beach..”

Video Copyright Levien Productions 1989. Made available for educational purposes only under Fair Use.

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