from the Archives

1950s ad for The Essex House Hotel

Read Time: 2 mins

  The Essex House Hotel at 1001 Collins Avenue, is considered one of Henry Hohauser’s best designs. Built in 1938, the hotel has the streamlined shape of a ship, with porthole windows and a double-faced metal spire with neon lights that illuminate the hotel’s name against the night sky. At the time it opened, guests had a clear ocean views from their rooms as the lot to the east was vacant.

Our archival 1950s “Rest Assured” ad for The Essex House Hotel Overlooking the Ocean, boasts about the activities & amenities offered…. Dancing, the Solarium, Moonlight Cruises, Bingo, Fishing Parties, Recreation Card Room, Elevator Service, a Phone in Each Room and Free Parking.

Most of the Deco-era lobbies, like that at the Essex House, were outfitted with color coded mosaics. Follow the subtle arrow and diamond shapes on the floor to find a secret backroom casino that was prevalent during the 1940s. The Essex House, which received a $3 million renovation back in 1998, is still one of Miami Beach’s most popular landmarks. However, due to covid the hotel has been closed since last year .

1940s vintage postcard of The Essex House Hotel
2014 photograph of the Essex; credit Virginia Duran, London architect and writer
Front porch terrazzo floor; credit Essex House Hotel

What would Miami Beach be like without Historic Art Deco, Mediterranean, and MiMo buildings?

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