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Stefani Longshamp


Address: 1250 Ocean Drive

Architect: Kiehnel & Elliot

Built-in 1941, The Carlyle has been a star on Ocean Drive for nearly 75 years the 1996 film, The Birdcage, was set here and its façade was featured in films like Scarface and Bad Boys 2. Notice how the Art Deco rule of thirds is employed, with its three dividing vertical sections and the step tops that cap them. The muted Deco color palette (white and seafoam green) is much more subtle than many of the other landmark buildings from this era.

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Address: 1300 Washington Ave


Architect: Chicago-born Howard Lovewell Cheney designed the Miami Beach post office in 1937, displaying a subtle, more somber iteration in Art Deco style dubbed “Depression Moderne.” A pretty fitting name for a post office, to be honest. While you’re there, check out murals depicting Ponce de Leon’s first expedition to Florida as you (inevitably) wait in line.

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Address: 1001 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach


Architect: Robert Taylor

Designed   and opened in 1934, the nautical-themed structure features long rows of porthole windows and railings on its oblong second floor. The center, circular tower flies the flags of the United States and Miami Beach. Conveniently for beachgoers, there are showers and restrooms inside.



Address: 1320 Ocean Drive

Architect: Roy France

The decorative stucco friezes outside the Cavalier Hotel are significant for more than aesthetic reasons. France used them to add symmetry (adhering to deco's golden “Rule of Three”) and accentuate the hotel’s verticality by drawing the eye upward. The pattern he chose also reflected a fascination with ancient civilizations engendered by the recent rediscovery of King Tut’s tomb and the Chichén Itzá temples.

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Address: 1220 Collins Ave.

Architect: Henry Hohauser

Who completed The Webster (originally a hotel) in 1939. Today, it’s home to the flagship store of a high-end boutique by the same name. The building’s clean lines and opulent details complement clothing and accessories from upscale labels like Dior, Balenciaga, and Celine. As a bonus, check out the Essex House Hotel (1001 Collins Ave.) and the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Road) two other Hosauer designs that are still functioning in their original roles.

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Address: 940 Ocean Drive

Architect: Anton Skislewicz

This towering, neon-lit façade is pure South Beach. At night it’s a glowing blue beacon that can be seen from almost anywhere in Lummus park. The Breakwater Hotel's clean, colorful lines and emphasis on symmetry are emblematic of the stylistic qualities of Art Deco design. Built in 1936, the 99-room boutique hotel was extensively renovated in 1999, making it one of the jewels of Ocean Drive.



Address: 1424 Ocean Drive

Architect: L. Murray Dixon

The iconic McAlpin (now part of Hilton Grand Vacation Club) is one of South Beaches' most famous, and most widely photographed, buildings in the district. It's by far one of the best examples of Miami's Art Deco style. The façade is perfectly symmetrical, with lines that run the length and width of the building. Note the rule of three in both the vertical lines and the horizontal eyebrows. The McAlphin sports a pretty pastel palette of pink and turquoise,  and has wonderfully stylized signage.



Address: 640 Ocean Drive

Architect: Henry Hohauser

Known as the “Blue Jewel” thanks to the color of its neon marquee, the landmark Ocean Drive Park Park Central Hotel was built in 1937. Pop into the lobby and check out the stunning floor. Terrazzo a compound of cement and stone chips that could be poured, then polished is a hallmark of deco design. Terrazzo floors typically had a geometric pattern, like this one.



Address: 1001 Collins Avenue

Architect: Henry Hohauser

This 1938 gem is a stunning example of Maritime deco (also known as Nautical Moderne). Designed to evoke an ocean liner, the Essex House hotel is rife with marine elements, from the rows of porthole-style windows and the natty racing stripes, to the towering smokestack-like sign. With a prow angled proudly into the street corner, the building. 

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Address: 1701 Collins Avenue

Architect: Lawrence Murray Dixon

The Ritz Plaza Hotel is a 12 story high hotel in Miami Beach. It was the tallest building in the city for 30 years from 1940 to 1970. The Art Deco tower was designed by architect Lawrence Murray Dixon, built in 1939, and opened in 1940 as the Grossinger Beach Hotel, the first air-conditioned hotel on Miami Beach. During World War II the hotel was used by the U.S. Army to accommodate high-ranking officers. The property re-opened in 1946 as the Ritz Plaza.


Address: 1040 Lincoln Road

Architect: R.A. Benjamin

Built for Paramount theaters in 1935, the Colony Theatre is an Art Deco gem, both inside and out. The marquee and façade are beautifully maintained, the ticket box perfectly restored, and the pristine terrazzo flooring features bold lines and geometric patterns. The much-loved 430-seat theater is a performing arts center and a neighborhood hub, with its central location on Lenox Avenue and Lincoln Road.



Address: 2100 Collins Avenue

Architect: Built in 1930 to house the Miami Beach Public Library and Arts Center, the Bass Museum is one of the finest and most subtle examples of Art Deco on this list. Pancoast designed the building with an eye towards maintaining the symmetry of the formal gardens in Collins Park. The building's distinctive façade is made from fossilized Paleolithic coral and decorated with bas reliefs by Gustav Boland. The lovely carvings depict Spanish conquest, a fantastic pelican eating a fish, and cruise ships, boats and planes roaring towards Miami Beach.



Address: The Delano, 1685 Collins Ave

Architect: Built in 1947 by Rob and Rose Schwartz. The hotel was originally utilized for military housing. The then four-winged Art Deco tower of the Delano was the tallest building in Miami. The 1994 renovations were designed by Philippe Starck. Delano is now a part of the Morgans Hotel Groupcollection. It is located directly on the beach. The Delano is known for its whimsical, art-deco styling and its celebrity clientele, and its pool is one of the few hotel pools in Miami. he Delano South Beach was ranked in the American Institute of Architects list of "America's Favorite. 



Address: 700 Ocean Drive

Architect: Albert Anis

 His design output included 15 different buildings in Miami; notably, some were completed as late as 1947 (there are few examples of Art Deco after World War II). While you can’t step inside the hotel, which is wrapping up renovations including soundproofing, you can see its historic exterior and marvel at the prolific architect who designed it. 



Address: 541 Lincoln Road

Architect: Thomas W. Lamb This 1936 build from Scottish-American is now a retail spot on Lincoln Road featuring an Alex & Ani jewelry store, a Swatch store, and H&M. The previous tenant was the New World Symphony orchestra, which carried out a multi-million dollar renovation of the theater in 1990 before moving into new, Frank Gehry-designed digs in 2011.

Max Reinert
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