When architectural critic and curator John Margolies took these photos in the early days of South Beach's art deco revival, from approximately 1980 to 1990, many thought it was a lost architectural cause, or perhaps not even worth the effort. But Margolies's photos document the raw beauty of South Beach's architecture at the time and are a stark comparison to what came later, as anybody who has seen what South Beach has become can immediately tell. These were the dark days of Miami Beach's art deco resurgence, but the light would soon come.
This little jewel box in the form of Art Deco known as the Streamline Moderne style a few blocks south of 41st Street in Miami Beach, hit the market on Friday for $2.5 million. There may be loads of small deco hotels and apartment buildings from the 1930s on the beach, but a pristine single family home is a much rarer fish indeed. The Depression decade wasn't the best time for mansion building.
Did you know that Mumbai has the second largest number of surviving art deco buildings in the world after Miami? Nicknamed ‘Bombay Deco,’ Mumbai's distinctive art deco architecture is a blend of art deco with traditional Indian motifs, creating a distinctive local style. An ensemble of Bombay Deco buildings was recently recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on June 30th, 2018.
Miami Beach's high stakes real estate market can sometimes put older, architecturally significant houses in jeopardy due to the market's demand for the newest, the biggest, and the most tricked out. This makes the preservation and restoration of older houses on the brink of demolition all the more significant.
The Hall South Beach, a boutique hotel in a cluster of historic art deco buildings that was just completely renovated a couple years ago, has been purchased by Axel Hotels, a mostly European chain of gay-oriented hotels with locations in Berlin, Ibiza, Barcelona, and Madrid. Now called the AxelBeach Miami, although the property is already pretty nice, it is unsurprisingly being renovated again and will reopen later this year.
From the art deco era to the 1950s and (sporadically) even much later, Terrazzo was a tremendously popular floor material across South Florida. The poured floors with little, colored specs in any color you can imagine, are versatile, durable, can be made into any pattern or design. They also look even better as they age, developing a crack here and there. In fact, they look better with a few cracks.
The Fairwind Hotel, which upon completion will be a collection of restored art deco, postwar modern, and contemporary buildings clustered around an open central court, and which has been in the works for, like, over ten years, is finally nearing completion in South Beach.
A temporary sign tacked above the front door of the former L'Epoca Department Store, an historic streamline moderne art deco building that originally held a Walgreens Drug Store, reads in big bold letters 'CITY OF MIAMI POLICE DEPARTMENT.'