Archives

Miami Design Preservation League is pleased to make a selection of archival photos, documents, and collectibles available online. Please see below for our most recent posts. Keep this page in your bookmarks and come back to see the latest postings of history, memorabilia, and more!

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Now Online:

The Barbara Baer Capitman Archives

You can now access a selection of archive files directly on our Dropbox, by clicking the green button here. This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources and the state of Florida.

Archive Articles

The Blackstone Hotel

In honor of Black History Month we call attention to the Blackstone Hotel on Washington Avenue that often went against the prevailing racism of minorities including welcoming blacks to Miami Beach. 

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Firehouse No.4 in Miami

At 1000 South Miami Avenue you will find both a turn-of-the-century restaurant and a living museum for the Mediterranean styled Firehouse No. 4, that is listed on the U.S. National

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Moon Over Miami Ball

Every year from 1978 through the 1990’s, there was a black-tie bash in Miami Beach benefiting the Miami Design Preservation League, called the “Moon Over Miami Ball”. This very anticipated party would

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The Splendor of the Helen Mar

The Helen Mar Apartment Hotel at 2421 Lake Pancoast Drive was designed by Robert E. Collins in 1936 for the owner John Marsa. Helen, the locals say, was the name

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Hotel Leonard 54 Ocean Drive

The Hotel Leonard at 54 Ocean Drive was built in 1925 by the owner H.E. Glickman, who named it after his son Leonard. Across from Hardie’s Casino, it was designed

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1235 Washington Avenue

In April 1935, The French Casino at 1235 Washington Avenue was designed by architect Thomas Hunter Henderson and built as a supper and vaudeville club, featuring cabaret acts and showgirls. By

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The Surf Club

Originally opened in 1930, The Surf Club located at 9011 Collins Avenue was designed by  pioneering Miami architect Russell Pancoast. It was the ultimate place to be seen. Located between Miami

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Carl Fisher’s Clubhouse

Carl Fisher’s Clubhouse built in 1916, just one year after the incorporation of the city of Miami Beach, was located at his executive golf course on Dade Blvd. and Washington

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“Definitely Deco”

In the early 80s in the Art Deco Historic District, in the lobby of the Washington Storage Company, 1003 Washington Avenue, you could find the eclectic antique and gift shop

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The New Yorker Hotel

The New Yorker Hotel once stood at 1611 Collins Avenue. It was the destruction of this iconic 1940 hotel in January 1981, considered by some the masterpiece of local architect

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1930s El Chico Club

El Chico’s swank nightclub was built in the 1930s and located in the new Art Deco Architectural District at 22nd St and Park Avenue. In 1982…”the leaders of the MDPL

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Beach Fashions of 1940

This excerpt comes from a March 4th, 1940, archival Life magazine article entitled, “Miami & Miami Beach; Biggest U.S. winter resort has biggest boom” “All beaches are noteworthy for the

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The Colony Theatre

The landmark Colony Theatre at 1040 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach opened January 25, 1935, and was built for the Paramount chain. It was a superb example of the Art

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Postcards from WWII

To honor the boys who served and were stationed in Miami Beach during WWII, we searched our archive collection for postcards from that era that were sent by the soldiers

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Burdines home of ‘Sunshine Fashions’

In celebration of Black History Month….The downtown Burdines had a place of real significance when the nation entered the civil right’s era. Burdines was the flagship for Florida’s first family of

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ROYAL PALM HOTEL

In honor of Black History Month….did you know The ROYAL PALM HOTEL at 1545 Collins Avenue in 2002 was the first full-service luxury hotel in America to be owned, developed

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The Georgian Hotel

The Georgian Hotel was located on 1621 Collins Avenue near Lincoln Road. It was designed by architect Joseph J. DeBrita and built in 1940 at a cost of $140,000. Constructed

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Gatti Restaurant 1427 West Ave

From 1925 to 1992, Gatti Restaurant at 1427 West Avenue held its place as a shining star with Miami Beach eateries, serving up delicious Northern Italian homemade pasta and fresh

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1988 Art Deco Festival

Being that last weekend was our virtual Art Deco Weekend, we wanted to bring you a flashback to a year when the festival was also not able to be held

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The Boulevard Hotel

The Boulevard Hotel is lost but not forgotten….located on Dade Blvd. & Meridian Avenue, it was one of the last hotels developed by Carl Fisher. Designed by Englishman William F.

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Curry’s Restaurant

Curry’s Restaurant located at 7433 Collins Avenue was a North Beach favorite among many locals far and wide. It was built in 1937 as an Epicure Restaurant (yes, the same

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The Plymouth Hotel

The Plymouth Hotel is located at 336 21st Street in the Collins Park neighborhood. It was designed by Anton Skislewicz in 1940, as a three story Art Deco Streamline Moderne

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Espanola Way

Espanola Way Village, which is so popular with tourists and locals now, was the brainchild of developers William Whitman and N.B.T. Roney in the early 1920’s. Originally named The Spanish

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The White House Hotel

The White House Hotel at 15th Street and Ocean Drive was a three story, 178 room structure designed by Roy E. France in the Neocolonial or Georgian style. Meant to

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Excerpt from 1940 Life Magazine

Excerpt from 1940 Life Magazine article entitled “Miami & Miami Beach; Biggest U.S. Winter resort has biggest boom”….. “In 1912 Miami, Fla., was a sleepy town of 7,500 people and Miami

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Many Shades of 1430 Ocean Dr.

The many shades of 1430 Ocean Drive…MDPL 1940’s archival postcard of the Clyde Hotel designed by L. Murray Dixon in 1941. In the 1970’s the name changed to Delnick’s Hotel.

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Miami Beach Bathing “Casinos”

Miami Beach sunbathers in the early 20th century would flock to Casinos, which actually were “bathing pavilions” that had nothing to do with gambling. The first bathing casino was built by

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Sunny Isles Motel Row

“It used to be called Motel Row. And for good reason. Dozens of two-story motels lined Collins Avenue. Some had whimsical themes and architectural flourishes. Concrete camels, mermaids and pyramids…Families

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Hot Button Issues

Buttons that had a saying or a political statement were a very popular item to wear in the 1970’s – 1990’s. Courtesy of the Kinerk-Wilhelm Collection shown are photographs of

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A Woman With Her Own Design

Barbara Baer Capitman was always an art and design lover. Perhaps she inherited this passion from her mother, Mrs. Myrtle Baer, who was an artist in her own right in the 1950’s.

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Carl Fisher’s Hotels

Developer Carl G. Fisher (1874–1939)—was a self-made millionaire who transformed Miami Beach into a winter tourist destination at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was Fisher who built several of Miami

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La Flora Hotel 1238 Collins Avenue

La Flora Hotel at 1238 Collins Avenue, when opened in 1924, was a Mediterranean Revival Hotel designed by architect George L. Pfeiffer. It was three stories high and had 45 rooms, each

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Christo’s Pink Islands

On June 1, 2020, artist Christo, known in South Florida for his public art project “Surrounded Islands”, passed away. Christo’s 30-month project to encircle eleven islands in Biscayne Bay with bright pink plastic

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Art Deco Spires

Here at MDPL we love Art Deco buildings with decorative spires! Pictures from our 2001 archives of the Tudor, Kent and Tiffany Hotels were taken by Alex Rodriguez (the late

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Flamingo Plaza Hotel

Flamingo Plaza at 1051-1055 Meridian Avenue in the Flamingo Park area, was a classic Art Deco Hotel. Designed by L. Murray Dixon in 1937, this 38 room structure has a

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Mid Century Marvels

Synopsis of the November 1996 Ocean Drive article by Tom Austin with photographs by Bill Wisser entitled, “Mid Century Marvels; A new tour and increasing appreciation are spurring interest in

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The Hampton Hotel

The Hampton Hotel located at the corner of Lincoln Road and Michigan Avenue, was built in April 1926, and designed by Martin L. Hampton. He also designed the old Miami

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The Nemo Hotel

The Nemo Hotel at 100 Collins Ave was considered to be a Mediterranean Revival gem that was built in 1921 by New Yorkers Sam Magrid, and Joseph and Harry Goodkowsky.

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The Strand Restaurant

The Strand Restaurant located at 671 Washington Avenue, designed by Yosse Friedman, was the keystone in 1986 to revitalizing dark Washington Avenue years before Micky Wolfson bought the Washington Avenue Storage

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The Neron Hotel

The Neron Hotel previously located at 1110 Drexel Avenue, was a fine example of the Art Deco/Streamline Moderne architecture built by architect Henry Hohauser in 1940. The building exhibited many

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