South Beach Art Deco
1930's Art Deco Streamline Moderne and Nautical Moderne architecture to the SouthBeach

In the 1930s, an architectural revolution came to South Beach, bringing Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and Nautical Moderne architecture to the Beach. South Beach claims to be the world's largest collection of Streamline Moderne Art Deco architecture. Napier, New Zealand, another notable Art Deco city, makes an interesting comparison with Miami Beach as it was rebuilt in the Ziggurat Art Deco style after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1931.

Ocean Drive in South Beach is perhaps my favorite place to stroll, people watch and enjoy the wonderful varieity of Art Deco architecture.

In the 1930s, an architectural revolution came to South Beach, bringing Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and Nautical Moderne architecture to the Beach. To this day, South Beach remains the world's largest collection of Streamline Moderne Art Deco architecture.

Today, the Miami Beach Architectural District (also known as Miami Beach Art Deco District) is a U.S. historic district with 960 historic buildings. Also see Ocean Drive at night!

You will best appreciate South Beach if you start with the Art Deco Walking Tour. No only do they tell you about the history of SoBe, but they take you through some of the hotels and point out interesting details you would never notice or find on your own. Have you ever seen a jellyfish tank? You will on the tour. As the guides are locals, they can also recommend restaurants that fit your needs.

Miami Beach’s building boom came during the second phase of Art Deco known as Streamline Moderne, which began with the stock market crash and ended in most cases with the outbreak of World War II.

It was less decorative —a more sober reflection of the Great Depression. It relied more on machine-inspired forms, and American ideas in industrial design. It was buttressed by the belief that times would get better and was infused with the optimistic futurism extolled at America’s Worlds Fairs of the 1930s.

Stripped Classic or Depression Moderne was a sub-style often used for governmental buildings, the U.S. Post Office being the best example in Miami Beach.

Miami Beach architects used local imagery to create what we now call Tropical Deco. These buildings feature relief ornamentation featuring whimsical flora, fauna and ocean-liner motifs to reinforce the image of Miami Beach as a seaside resort.

For more, go to the Miami Design Preservation League website.

For more, go to the Miami Design Preservation League website.


6th street
ocean

Art Deco District

Art Deco District

Circles and Rectangles

Deco and Palm Trees

Deco Fleur-de lys relief

Exterior de los banos

Facade of the Carlyle

Facade with deco nudes

Gold Deco Cornice

Hotel Webster

Art Deco District

Miami Beach

Ocean Front Hotel

Pattern in Blue and Teal

Pattern in Mauve and Peach

Pink beauty

Rooftop at the Hotel

5th Street and Ocean

Modern Beauties

Essex House

Contemporary Building

Lincoln Theatre

South Beach

Olympia Theater

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