While Miami is home to plenty of the new and modern, it is its architectural style of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s that now clouds one neighborhood of the city. The Art Deco District stretches to the Atlantic Ocean in the east, Alton Road to the west, Sixth Street to the South and Dade Boulevard to the north. It comprises of around 800 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. These old timers fill with hotels, restaurants and nightclubs, breathing life into what many deem retro today. To tour through the pastel colored structures of South Beach and Miami Beach, you will want to make several stops along the way to appreciate this architectural legacy in Miami.
The Art Deco Welcome Center: If you are clueless as to where to begin your tour through this neighborhood, you should make a stop at the Art Deco Welcome Center, right across the street from the Clevelander Hotel. The Miami Design Preservation League puts on the welcome center. You will find plenty of information on the area with maps, pamphlets and tours offered on site. The official Art Deco Walking Tour invites tour goers to learn more about the architects behind these Art Deco beauties along with the history of Miami Beach.
Lummus Park: Right at Ocean Drive and 7th Street, you will find Lummus Park. Once you have all of your information about the Art Deco District from the Art Deco Welcome Center, the park makes for a good perch to get a lay of the land first and foremost. It lends a nice view of the neighborhood, especially if you are visiting at night when all of the neon signs of those Art Deco hotels and restaurants come to life.
The Hotels: Even if you can’t stay in the Art Deco District of Miami, you should at least marvel at is architecturally unique hotels. The area is littered in notable pieces of architecture, mostly occupied by hotels. These structures prove that they are more than just spaces to rest up for the night. You won’t want to miss Park Center, a hotel built in 1937 that drew the Hollywood set like Clark Gable and Rita Hayworth. The Tides Hotel is also worth a gander for its porthole windows and 12-story tower. It was built in 1936. If you are in search of the best Art Deco hotel pool, you will need to swim on over to the Raleigh Hotel, home to its oceanside Art Deco swimming space. This pool acted on the big screen for Esther Williams’ films in the 1940s and 1950s.
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