The Miami Art Deco Historic District is a prime vacation destination for visitors and a must-see on your vacation itinerary, especially if you're interested in architecture or the history of Miami. The Art Deco District, with more than 800 historic buildings included in the area, is the largest collection of these types of structures in the world. The district itself is listed on the National Historic Register.
Art Deco District
The buildings of the Miami Beach Art Deco district were constructed during the 1920s and 30s with distinct features including stucco walls, flat roofs, and pastel-colored buildings that are a combination of industrial and modern design. The buildings of the 1920s in the Art Deco District are considered decorative while the buildings of the 1930s are considered streamlined.
Lining the ten-block area of the Miami Art Deco Historic District, examples of Art Deco, Neo-Classical, and Mediterranean Revival architecture along with the colorful buildings provide an array of choices in vacation accommodations at historic Miami Beach hotels, as well as easy access to numerous shopping venues, cafes, restaurants, and businesses.
There are two options for sightseeing and observing Art Deco in Miami for an in-depth view of each building. Guided tours are available at scheduled times during the week through the Art Deco District welcome center and lasting about 90 minutes, or you can take a self-guided tour with a rented audio device providing stories and details about each building's history. Self-guided tours are at your own pace allowing plenty of time for sightseeing and taking photographs. Regardless of which type you choose, the Miami Art Deco Historic District tour begins at the Art Deco Gift Shop, where guides and digital audio devices are available.
One of the first stops is the Amsterdam Palace, renamed Casa Casuarina and located on Ocean Avenue. This splendid mansion filled with frescoes, mosaics, and tile work was previously owned by Gianni Versace and is open for tours. Further down Ocean Avenue, the Leslie, Carlyle Hotel, Winterhaven, and Cardoza Hotel are perfect examples of Art Deco in Miami.
The fifth stop is at the Commodore Hotel on Collins Avenue. Built in 1936, the building is highly ornamental and features lovely facades. Continuing to Washington Street, the Post Office in the Depression Moderne style features a ceiling mural and large painting of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.
The next three tour buildings that feature Art Deco in Miami are the Old City Hall constructed in the Mediterranean Neo-Classical design; Wolfsonian Museum, formerly the Washington Storage Building; and the Blackstone Hotel all located on Washington Street. The next three hotels are located along Collins Avenue: the Coral Rock House, which is only partially standing; Sherbrooke Hotel, built in 1915; and the Tiffany Hotel, built in 1939 with a futuristic facade.
Returning to Ocean Avenue, the tour continues along to the Park Central Hotel, known as the blue jewel due to its periwinkle-blue coloring, and the 1940s inspired Majestic Hotel. The Miami Beach Art Deco tour ends at the colorful pink and yellow Waldorf Towers Hotel with its imposing watchtower presiding over the guest units.