Fort Myers High School

Edgar Wilson with Richard Jessen

  • Built

In the 1920s and ’30s, avant-garde architecture was greatly influenced by the “Bauhaus School,” the German school internationally celebrated for its approach to modern design. Also known as the International Style, the original designs of the Bauhaus rejected ornamentation, and combined function with aesthetics.

Sleek, modern, utilitarian “international style” buildings of today can be traced back to the Bauhaus. The influence of the Bauhaus can be recognized in these two well-known 1940s civic buildings - both of which a young Edgar Wilson worked on just out of architecture school while gaining experience with Tampa Architect Richard E. Jessen.

Both buildings pre-date the regional approach of the Sarasota School of Architecture, i.e., making little or no reference to the climate. These buildings while modern in character and locally appreciated in southwest Florida could have been designed for anywhere USA.

Fort Myers High School built in 1949 is an example of traditional school style architecture meets modernism. Long and low, stripped of ornamentation, smooth surfaces and adorned with only simple details like the bold freestanding numbers over the entrance, it is easy to identify the transition from classical to contemporary.

AIA Florida Southwest Southwest Florida Museum of History Herman Miller