• Serenity and Delight: The Architecture of Minoru Yamasaki
    Dale Allen Gyure
    Yale University Press, 2017
    Dale Allen Gyure

Yamasaki, Leinweber, and Associates, McGregor Memorial Conference Center, 1955–58, Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Dale Allen Gyure.

Serenity and Delight analyzes the architecture of Minoru Yamasaki, a seminal American designer of the postwar period. He rose to prominence with buildings like the Lambert–St. Louis Airport and the McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State University, merging modern materials and functional concerns with historical elements and a humanist sensibility grounded in notions of "serenity, surprise, and delight." He achieved his greatest acclaim in the early 1960s, leading to the commission for the World Trade Center. Despite widespread recognition and numerous honors, however, some critics portrayed him as a decorator and populist. Later postmodern thinkers found his architecture frivolous and detached from crucial theoretical issues. The book locates Yamasaki within numerous and often conflicting midcentury discourses, including historicism, populism, and the debate over ornament, in a manner that enhances our understanding of this tumultuous time and allows for an objective assessment of his contributions to modern architecture.

Dale Allen Gyure is professor of architecture at Lawrence Technological University and adjunct assistant professor of historic preservation at Goucher College. He earned his PhD in architectural history from the University of Virginia, his JD from Indiana University, and his BS in psychology from Ball State University. Gyure's research focuses on American and modern architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has published two books: Frank Lloyd Wright's Florida Southern College (2010) and the Graham Foundation-supported The Chicago Schoolhouse, 1856–2006: High School Architecture and Educational Reform (2011), as well as numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews. Much of this work has been funded by grants from the College Art Association, the American Philosophical Society, and the Spencer Foundation. Gyure has served on the Boards of Directors for the Society of Architectural Historians and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, and is a member of the Michigan Historic Preservation Review Board.