Inter County Telephone and Telegraph

Gundersen & Wilson Architects

  • Address
    1111 Fort Myers Road
    Fort Myers, FL 33901
  • Built

Inter-County Telephone & Telegraph. Gundersen & Wilson Architects. 1960

The Inter-County Telephone and Telegraph building is not only one of the undiscovered gems of the period, it is one of the most whimsical modern buildings in downtown Fort Myers. The expansive entrance overhang features wonderful rolling flutes. The jutting enclosed fire escape shimmers red at night – a result of stair lights filtering through solid colored glass blocks.

Randomly arrayed telephone handsets, which originally adorned the street side façade, were a good-humored tip-off of the building's interior function. Combined with a sculptural signal tower sitting atop, these handsets would have playfully signified the building's function as telecommunications operator.

Inter-County Telephone and Telegraph is also an attractive example of abstract composition with vast expanses of solid wall perforated in only select key moments by stretches of glass or deep recesses.

Only minor changes have been made to the exterior of the building in 50 years. Gundersen & Wilson Architects were passionate about understanding and making use of materials that were appropriate in a sub-tropical climate. A look at the building today shows very little wear. It stands today content and comfortable in its environment.

AIA Florida Southwest Southwest Florida Museum of History Herman Miller