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Alan Berman


1930 - 2018 Notice Condolences
Alan Berman Notice
Orlando Architect and Devoted Family Man Alan B. Berman, an architect responsible for scores of prominent Central Florida buildings, passed away on August 10, 2018. For nearly four decades starting in 1960-a period of rapid growth of Central Florida-Berman designed homes, office buildings, shopping centers, and hotels. His keen sense of design was put to use by several of the region's most successful real estate developers. "Alan was a very talented architect and human being," said James Russell, a retired developer. "He made great use of space. His work and his life were honest." Berman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 18, 1930. He was the son of George Berman and Myra Gingold, Jewish immigrants from Belarus. Berman became an only child, at age four, after his nine-year-old sister Gloria died. As a young man, Berman developed a keen interest in photography and jazz. His trips as a teenager into Manhattan to see the popular music stars of the day, including Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee, inspired Berman's lifelong love of jazz crooners. Berman also was an avid photographer throughout his life-delighting family and friends with images from his travels. Berman enrolled as an undergraduate in engineering at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. When his parents retired to Miami Beach, Berman transferred to the University of Florida, where he graduated with a degree in architecture in 1952. Soon after graduating, Berman served as a captain in the United States Air Force in San Antonio, Tex. and Biloxi, Miss. As he was preparing to deploy to the Korean War, the conflict ended in July 1953. After his discharge from the Air Force, Berman moved to Miami Beach, to start his architectural career. One of Berman's first jobs in 1954 was to design the roadside sign for the Ocean Palm motel, which was developed and owned by his father. Berman's mid-century modernist sign became a beloved local landmark. In Aug. 1957, Berman met Marcia Gibbs of Deland, Fla.-when their parents set them up on a blind date. He proposed marriage to Gibbs, then a student at Emory University, just six weeks after their first date. The couple married on Feb. 17, 1958, at the Elinor Beach Country Club in Ormond Beach, Fla. In 2018, Marcia and Alan celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. In 1960, the couple relocated to the Orlando area. Berman opened his architectural firm in downtown Orlando. In the ensuing four decades, Berman designed numerous award-winning buildings including the Sheraton World hotel at SeaWorld Orlando, hotels in Atlantic City, N.J. and Durham, N.C., and many iconic modern, custom homes in the area. The couple raised their three children in Maitland. Vicki, an attorney, and Reid, a real estate developer and investor, live in Winter Park. Bradley, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., is a writer. Berman was an active member of the American Institute of Architects. In 1981, he represented the Orlando branch in an exchange program with the Swiss Institute of Architects, which brought Berman on a tour to Switzerland, including Zurich and Geneva. Berman's triplex on Park Avenue, where he lived for the past 15 years, won a Grand Aurora Award-a design competition of the Southeast Building Conference, a program of the Home Builders Association. Berman also designed the Home Builder Association's Central Florida headquarters. Berman retired in 2005, after which he traveled extensively with his wife-and close friends Marvin and Myrna Newman-throughout Europe, including the Baltics and Iceland, and South America. "His wit and his goodness were contagious," said Newman, a retired attorney and professor at Rollins College. Berman is survived by his wife Marcia, his three children Vicki, Reid, and Bradley and his wife Angela, brother-in-law Gus and his wife Arlene, and five grandchildren Joey, Nadira, Sasha, Isaac, and Oliver. A service will be held on Aug. 16, at 10 a.m., at Congregation of Reform Judaism, 928 Malone Drive, Orlando, Fla. In memory of Alan B. Berman, the family requests contributions to the Jewish Pavilion, 421 Montgomery Road, Altamonte Springs FL 32714. Arrangements entrusted to BETH SHALOM MEMORIAL CHAPEl, 640 Lee Road, Orlando 32810. 407.599.1180.
Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Aug. 12, 2018
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