Immerse yourself in all the architectural charm of old Florida – pastel, neon, and window “brows” are all included.
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yThe mention of Miami might conjure up images of linen suits, Cubano sandwiches, hard bodies relaxing in the South Beach sun, or four beautiful ladies living outside their homes. golden years (Miami is beautiful, so I’ll say it twice) in the Florida heat. But perhaps the best and most secret of Magic City is that the city is also an architectural haven – especially when it comes to art deco.
short for International Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Industries (Referring to the conference at which the style first appeared), Art Deco is characterized by strong geometric shapes, vibrant pastel colors, and smooth, streamlined shapes. Sometimes referred to as “Tame Cubism,” the movement was born in France during the 1920s and rose in popularity in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. You probably know two famous Art Deco buildings that are the Chrysler Building in New York City and the Empire State Building.
Just south of South Beach, Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District houses more than 800 Art Deco buildings in less than one square mile and is home to the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world. Miami’s fortune in Art Deco can be traced back to one man: the auto mogul Karl Fisher. In 1910, Fisher first traveled to the rat-infested swamp in Biscayne Bay on vacation. Where others had just seen a swamp, Fisher saw a future escape destination—and a great investment opportunity, of course. Therefore, he quickly proceeded to drain the bay.
Fisher knew that to attract other wealthy auto tycoons, he hoped to join him in what would become Miami Beach, he needed to make the place look stunning—and in the 1920s, that meant Art Deco. Then Fisher sought and enlisted architects Henry Hohauser And the Lawrence Murray Dixon To lead the gigantic architectural project. And although the couple and their team would design some of the most iconic buildings of their era, the appeal of Art Deco, and thus Miami, faded over time, as trends no longer exist. Miami Beach turned from a playground for the rich and famous in the 1930s and 1940s into a favorite destination for retirees by the late 1960s; Being labeled “Paradise’s waiting room” isn’t quite as exciting as one might imagine.
However, Art Deco buildings in Miami underwent a massive revival during the late 1970s when Miami Design Preservation League It was created. In 1979, the one-mile area was Miami Beach Art Deco District It became the first urban historic district in the 20th century to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States, sparking renewed interest in Miami’s architectural heritage. In addition to visiting from Andy Warhol in 1980, and repeatedly appeared in the hugely popular (and 80s) series. Miami Vice Not hurt either.
Since it’s only a mile away, Miami’s decor district is an easy one to explore on foot in the afternoon. Here are eight must-see Art Deco buildings to add to your itinerary:
1250 Ocean Dr.
While its crisp white exterior may seem more tame than the other buildings on this list, there is no doubt that Carlisle is one of the most famous buildings in Miami. Designed by German-American architect Richard Kennell, Carlisle Appeared in films like Scarface (1983), birdcage (1996) and random hearts (1999), located 100 yards from Gianni VersaceThe former mansion, where the fashion designer was murdered by the sudden killer Andrew Cunanan.
Carlyle originally opened its doors with 50 units in 1939. After renovations were made in the mid-2000s, Carlyle is now a 19-unit apartment building. Still pretty enough to put on a postcard and a view of the ocean, it evokes all the glam of Miami of yesteryear.
1430 Ocean Dr.
McAlpin is a near-perfect embodiment of Miami Art Deco. Delightfully symmetrical with accents of turquoise and coral pink, McAlpin’s boxy silhouette stands out from its Ocean Drive neighbors. Designed in 1940 by Dixon, McAlpin follows the Rule of Three: a design guide allegedly influenced by Egyptian tradition in which the decorative elements are organized into groups of three – the three vertical stripes zip-lines both horizontally and vertically that intersect its facade. Today, McAlpin is a 52-room hotel owned by the Hilton and is one of the city’s most popular selfie spots. But be sure to reserve a room in advance – this property often sells out months ahead of time.
Book now: from $359, hilton.com, expedia.com
3. Miami Beach Post Office
1300 Washington Ave.
The Miami Beach Post Office was established on Washington Street in 1937, and was designed by the Chicago-based architect Howard Lovell Cheney Built under the supervision of Business progress management during the Great Depression. The Curious Post Office features a circular atrium with a cone-shaped ceiling surmounted by a small dome, a 10-foot-high glass wall above the entrance, and a large stone eagle above the entrance. Inside, a tricolor mural Charles Hardman Depicting pivotal scenes from Florida history, such as the arrival of Ponce de Leon in 1513, they are located in the lobby above gold-colored mailboxes. Not a bad place to pick up mail!
4. The Colony Hotel
736 Ocean Dr.
I dreamed of it in 1935 Henry Hohauser (One of Miami’s most prolific architects, who is estimated to have created 300 buildings in the area), Colony Hotel he have Simple yet eye-catching design. The building was first.modern simplicityA building in Miami; its three layers have been highlighted in turquoise paint. But perhaps the building’s most famous element is its inverted T-sign, which bears the hotel’s name and lights up in choppy shades of blue at night.
The structure was built to serve as a luxury retreat for upper-middle-class clients—each of the hotel’s 50 rooms had its own bathroom, and some of the best amenities (at the time) included a radio and telephone in each room. area. And in a somewhat unusual move for Florida, the Colony Hotel also has a basement, which is outfitted with a card room, entertainment rooms, and locker rooms with shower facilities.
Book now: from $145, colonymiami.com and expedia.com
5. Park Central Hotel
640 ocean d.
Sometimes called the “Blue Jewel of Miami” because of its azure paint and neon lighting, the Park Central Hotel is an icon of Magic City that opened its doors in 1937. It was a favorite of celebrities like Clark Gable and Rita Hayworth during its heyday. The seven-story, 135-room Blue Jewel Hotel has Old Florida-style rooms and offers a sculpture garden, rooftop deck, small pool, and elegant terrazzo floors throughout. After switching several times over the years, the Park Central Hotel was sold to hotelier Richard Tabet in 2013; He invested money in major property renovations in 2018 as well as several surrounding properties. Unfortunately, the Park Central Hotel has closed during the pandemic and it is unclear if and when it will reopen again for business.
1220 Collins Ave.
Completed in 1939, the Webster building is a fine example of Hohauser’s adherence to the rule of three – the building is evenly divided into thirds horizontally and vertically and three windows can be found on each of its three floors. Although it was originally designed as a hotel, it now serves as the main frontage of a high-end clothing store, also known as Webster. Inside, visitors can find eye-catching terrazzo floors, pastel décor, and modern wood-beamed ceilings.
7. Hoffmann Cafeteria Building
1450 Collins Ave.
This cute little building on a corner Collins Street and Spain Road It has seen quite a few businesses come and go since it opened its doors in 1940. Another building designed by Hohauser, the gloriously curvaceous building (a welcome change from the obsessive ultra-line creations early in the Art Deco movement) was originally built from Yes, it houses the famous Hoffman Cafeteria, a favorite among Military Air Force cadets who train in the area during World War II. Then, in 1942, it temporarily became an army dining hall before turning again—this time into a deli for Jews. It then cycled through a series of discotheques (including a Chinese disco with a 2,500-gallon shark tank) before being acquired by Jerry’s Famous Deli in 2000. In 2015, Jerry’s sold the venue to Señor Frogs which (unfortunately) shut down their Miami location in 2020 due to COVID-19. Rumor has it that Miami Beach investor Yossi Lipkin, who bought him this year for $10 million, She has plans To turn it into a “beautiful large-scale resort clothing store.”
2100 Collins Ave.
Bass is probably the most accurate example of Art Deco on this list, but it’s also one of the most attractive. Originally constructed in 1930 to house the Miami Beach Public Library and Arts Center, the building was the first place it was shown to the public Art in South Florida. It was designed by architect Russell Bancoast, grandson of John Collins, one of the area’s first land developers. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the building is its walls, which consist of olite limestone The fossilized coral from the Paleolithic period. As an additional finish, the walls are also decorated with bas-reliefs carved by the sculptor Gustav Boland – some of the highlights include a pelican eating a fish and a depiction of the Spanish conquest. The structure became the Bass Museum in 1964 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. You can visit Bass and its impressive collection of contemporary art Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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