Friday, January 17, 2014

Another reason to remember the Ocean Forest Hotel- its Architect.

Every October brings back demolition memories of the Ocean Forest Hotel and wonders at what might've been. This past October I re-printed a blog homage to the hotel. Forty years ago this October, the Magnificent Castle on the Ocean was imploded by Hudgens and Company of Atlanta. The owner of Hudgens confided to me the Ocean Forest was the finest constructed building he had ever examined. Over a roast of oysters at Morse's, he told me. "This hotel needs renovation, not demolition." He then turned over a placemat and laid out the economics and showed me he could gut the interior, create new larger rooms, redo the original lobby decor, make a few exterior alterations and bring back the landmark to its original splendor and the 12-acre ocean front property still had room for further development.

ARCHITECT RAYMOND HOOD is why the Ocean Forest Hotel was the finest constructed building Mr. Hudgens had ever examined. Hood was one of most revered high-rise builders in the world. His extraordinary visions created...

  • Chicago Tribune Building opened in 1924 is listed as a Chicago Landmark.
  • American Radiator Building opened in 1924 which Fountainhead author Ayn Rand once called the most beautiful in New York. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Ocean Forest Hotel opened in 1926 and 1927 demolished in 1974.
  • New York Daily News Building built in 1929 designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
  • Masonic Temple in Scranton built in 1930 is the city's cultural center.
  • McGraw-Hill Building built in 1930-31 is a NY landmark.
  • Rockefeller Center built 1930-1939. Comprising 22 acres, 8,000,000 million sqft of buildings, four acres of gardens and is still one of the world's most vibrant city centers and visitor attractions.
All but the Ocean Forest Hotel live on.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A thank you to Brent Rainwater who left this world.

Time to pay our respects to a loyal customer/friend of Flamingo Grill.
We met Brent the first week Flamingo Grill opened. He sent a handwritten letter complimenting our chef on our lobster bites and béarnaise sauce.

From Florence S.C, Brent Rainwater might as well have been from Florence Italy.
I was born in a pot sink, learned to walk and talk in a cafe, have au jus coursing through my veins but Brent's passion, his knowledge, his wicked enjoyment of food made me seem a culinary illiterate. He befriended some of the world's celeb chefs and his dining experiences were otherworldly...Lutece, Per Se, Alinea, Prudhomme's, Emeril's.

And I thought I was hip to movie history until Brent and I butted heads while he and his sweet wife Anne dined on Peppercorn tuna, Steak Oscar, cajun oysters and extra sides of bearnaise. I'll miss swappin foodie philosophy and movie history with Brent.