Onda Residences, a high-end luxury condominium being developed by CMC Group and Morabito Properties, had its ceremonial groundbreaking today, as one of the few in-person real estate events that are finally starting to happen these days. The building, which features 41 residences beginning at $1.8 million a pop, is on the former site of the Bay Harbour Continental, a MiMo residential building that was a gem of midcentury flair and which preservationists fought, unsuccessfully, to preserve.
When you take a spectacular piece of early modernist architecture, such as this streamlined moderne house on Pine Tree Drive by important Miami Beach architect Igor Polevitzkty, and give it some bland contemporary renovations that are supposed to "improve" it while blending in with the existing architecture, the results often leave something to be desired.
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.
The legendary Palm Bay Club had its glorious halcyon days in the 1960s, and '70s, when it was the epitome of glamour for the jet-set cafe society glitterati of its day. Not only did residents have to be rich, but they had to be a lot of fun, according to its creator Connie Dinkler.
Built in 1845, this classic conch house in the heart of old Key West has been through a lot. Apparently owned by one of Key West's founding families, the house is built with Dade County Pine, which can still be seen in the stair hall, living room, and master bedroom, has bright green shutters opening out to the front verandah, and is surrounded by a white picket fence. It's also got a freeform pool, and an interior decor job that is just so Martha-Stewart-comes-to-Key-West perfect it's insane.
The Dade Commonwealth Building, built in Miami's halcyon 1920s, the year 1927 to be exact, has stood the test of time. Its unique rooftop crenelation, according to historical lore, was due to a hurricane that hit during construction, slicing the building at the eighth floor and causing the builders to just leave it there. Now it's on the market, according to a listing at Loopnet, for a total of $21 million, with permits approved for its demolition with the exception of the first three stories of the facade.
A unique single-family-house-cum-industrial-loft-esque listing in South Beach, just off Lincoln Road, which has bounced on and off the market since 2017, with successively lower and lower prices, is back, this time asking $2,250,000. That's only $250,000 more than the owner paid for the place, way back in 2013.
In the heart of Miami Shores, this roomy midcentury modern (a.k.a. "Miami Modern" here) house sprawls over a half-acre lot, and includes a unique breezeway or loggia that encloses a courtyard-like lawn area in the back yard, offering plenty of protected outdoor living space, all for $2.599 million. Located at 500 NE 96th St, and listed a few days ago, the house was built in 1950, and has quite a few original details intact, including terrazzo floors and even the brightly colored tile bathrooms that are so emblematic of the era yet very often torn out.
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.
Built in 1959, this subtropical modern Coconut Grove house at 3571 N Prospect Drive was renovated by a "world renowned" architect in 2008, according to the real estate listing. I wrote about it back in 2018 on the Big Bubble, and have a hunch I also might have done a write-up on Curbed Miami back in the day, although I can't find that old piece. Either way, it's a treat.