Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
South Beach is defined by its Art Deco District, a colorful collection of landmark hotels and other properties with an equally interesting history. The neighborhood extends east to west from the ocean to Alton Road and north to south from Dade Boulevard to Sixth Street. Within its borders are 960 historic buildings, most of them designed and built in the distinctive Art Deco style with sleek lines and geometric forms. The Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) protects and promotes the architecture of this historic neighborhood with public programs developed for anyone interested in architectural design and preservation.
Starting at the Art Deco Welcome Center near Lummus Park, the MDPL’s self-guided walking tour of the district takes you past hotels designed by local architect Henry Hohauser. Hohauser’s notable designs include the Park Central Hotel, Essex House, and The Cardozo. Essex House is recognizable for its resemblance to an ocean liner heading out to sea. The Cardozo has starred in several movies, including There’s Something About Mary and Any Given Sunday. The Cardozo is also known for its famous owners, Emilio and Gloria Estefan.
Another prominent Miami architect, L. Murray Dixon, designed The Tides, which was the tallest building in the city when it was built in 1936. He also created the Hotel of South Beach, formerly known as The Tiffany. Other buildings in the Art Deco District have the distinction of being the oldest residences in the Western Hemisphere. Other notable buildings include The Villa Casa Cauarina, the former home of Gianni Versace; the Delano, the destination of choice for celebrities visiting Miami; and the Carlyle, setting for The Birdcage.
Step back in time with the Miami Design Preservation League:
Cover image by Gzzz (CC BY-SA 4.0).