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Art Deco Miami Beach

Nothing better defines the original spirit of the southern tip of Miami Beach – known the world over as South Beach – than the Art Deco District.

Dating back to the 1920-30s and built to a “human scale,” the architecture of Art Deco is best known for its bright colors – everything ranging from pastel pinks and blues to eye-popping reds, oranges, greens and purples. Likewise, the interiors boast fun, retro features such as geometric statues, fountains, porthole windows, shiny curves, glass blocks, chrome accents and other unique touches.

So unique is the architecture in Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District that more than 800 buildings that were built between 1923 and 1943 have now received historic designations – meaning that whenever they’re redesigned or refurbished, they must adhere to certain historic standards.

Let’s take a look at the areas in Miami Beach where you’re most likely to find the greatest concentrations of these historic landmarks.

OCEAN DRIVE

Villa Casa CasaurinaSo magical is this 1.3-mile oceanfront stretch in South Beach than runs from South Pointe Drive north to 15th Street that there is a world-famous magazine – “Ocean Drive” – named after it, and every major feature film and TV show that films in Miami inevitably traverses these blocks.

Among the most famous spots:

  • Villa Casa Casaurina: the 1930 Spanish-style manse where designer Gianni Versace lived – and was killed in 1997.
  • Clevelander Hotel: This famous party spot has gained nationwide recognition for being where Dan Le Batard hosts ESPN radio and TV shows.
  • Cardozo Hotel: Owned by Miami Beach royalty Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the Cardozo attracts A-listers galore, especially on weekends.
  • Lummus Park: This beachfront park affords mesmerizing views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Art Deco skyline in all its fun and whimsical glory.

Should you get hungry anytime day or night, there is no shortage of indoor/outdoor dining options up and down Ocean Drive. Everything from steak and sushi to classic Cuban and 24-hour diners – whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find on Ocean Drive.

COLLINS AVENUE

Delano South BeachA single block west of Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue is Miami Beach’s main – and most busy thoroughfare.

Replete with iconic hotels and eateries, Collins Avenue is a walkable treasure trove of all that is glorious and historic about the Art Deco Historic District. Among the hotels that are as popular today as they were in their original mid-century modern incarnations:

  • National Hotel
  • Raleigh Hotel
  • Delano South Beach
  • Sagamore Hotel

Likewise, there are eateries aplenty on Collins Avenue, including Bianca, STK Miami, The Dutch, Setai Beach Bar and Katsuya by Starck, to name just a few.

LINCOLN ROAD

Colony TheatreIf Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue are the two most iconic north-south thoroughfares in South Beach, then Lincoln Road is an east-west treat unlike any place in the city – because it’s pedestrians only.

Yes, when you stroll the Lincoln Road Mall — a mile-long stretch of Art Deco splendor – you’ll find The Ritz-Carlton (in the former Di Lido Hotel South Beach spot), Albion Hotel, Park Central Hotel and the Colony Theatre, as well as innumerable shops, eateries and galleries. You’ll also be treated to myriad outdoor performers and people-watching opportunities that have to be seen to be believed.

So, when you explore Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District, you’ll be connected to both the city’s magnificent past – and its unlimited future. Learn more about real estate in this world-renowned area.

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