Discover the Art Deco Capital

Hello loves! And welcome to the Historic Art Deco District of Miami Beach, or should I say the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world?!

Hello loves! And welcome to the Historic Art Deco District of Miami Beach, or should I say the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world?! First of all, we should thanks former interior designer Barbara Capitman who led the movement to preserve the Art Deco of this city. But at the end, what is Art Deco? Why Miami Beach has hundreds, actually, over 468 hotels, apartments and other structures with this architectural style? Does Miami Beach have only Art Deco structures? This is exactly what we will find out today!

FIRST: EVERYTHING IS NOT ART DECO

If your city guide tells you that Di Lido (The Ritz Carlton) or Sagamore Hotel are Art Deco styles,  find a new one! Not all buildings are Art Deco even if they are in the Art Deco District and look pretty. Miami Beach has over 1224 registered and protected structures considered National Heritage classified in many different artistic styles:

Indeed, before Art Deco, there was the Mediterranean Revival, a 1910s-30s Style influenced by Spanish Renaissance, Spanish Colonial, Beaux-Arts, Italian Renaissance and Venetian Gothic architecture (Barcelona Hotel, Edison, Edgewater Beach, Beach Park, Collins Hotel, and the famous Versace Villa: Casa Casuarina are all good references).  Art Deco grew during the 1920s-30s, with currently over 468 registered buildings (hotels such as Delano, Colony, Victor, McAlpin, Leslie, Breakwater, Avalon, Marlin, Park Central, Webster, Fairmont, Ocean Plaza/Clyde, Congress, Essex House, Waldorf Towers, Majestic, Cardozo, Cavalier, Netherlands, Beacon, Shore Crest, are all from this same style). Followed by Miami Modern (better known as MiMo), a 40s-60s popular response to the various modernist and post world war architectural movements that were taking place in other parts of the world, adding glamour, fun, and material excess to otherwise stark, minimalist, and efficient styles (less common style for hotels, but we can still find some examples such as the Di Lido, Sagamore, Starlite, Boulevard, and James Hotel). There are many Other Styles not categorised for the recentest buildings such as Lowe’s Miami Beach Hotel or The Betsy Ross Hotel (90s-XXI century) .

SO, WHAT IS ART DECO?

Patricia Bayer, author of Art Deco Architecture, describes Art Deco as “an architecture of ornament, geometry, energy, retrospection, optimism, color, texture, light and at times even symbolism.”. But more than that: Art Deco was the most fashionable international design movement in Modern Art from 1925 until the 40s! However, the name ‘Art Deco’ was only used in 1968 by Bevis Hillier in his book, Art Deco of the 20s and 30s.

WHERE IS THE HISTORIC ART DECO?

Take a day and explore this wonderful Art Deco Capital, these maps below will point you where you can find its most famous Historic Heritage: South Beach. But take note: Ocean-Collins are the 2 Must-See streets.

FAMOUS ART DECO HOTELS YOU CAN’T MISS OUT

There are over 71 Art Deco Hotels in Miami Beach, let see some of my favourites:

PARK CENTRAL HOTEL

 Located in Ocean Drive and built in 1937, this 4 star Hotel is a classic example of Art Deco.
Architect: Henry Hohauser, Miami Beach.

The Webster HotelThe Marlin HotelMc Alpin HotelColony HotelStarlite HotelCavalier Hotel

There is of course much more Hotels, and stunning buildings that worth to be seen, but those are the most famous ones. Who goes to Miami Beach without taking a day to explore the Art Deco District, didn’t really see Miami Beach.

Did you like it? Have any question? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment and say Hello 🙂

Xoxo,

Melanie

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