from the Archives

Flamingo Plaza Hotel

Read Time: 3 mins

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 symmetrical and a triple facade in the A-B-A form, with both vertical and horizontal design features. You can find all the defining characteristics of the 1930’s era building here: eyebrows, glass blocks, colored keystone, neon lighting, terrazzo floors and exterior bas-relief displaying pastel colored flamingos and palm trees.

Today in opposite sides of the lobby there are still two original murals by Miami muralist, Earl LaPan. These were his most famous murals of a scene of pink flamingos frolicking in a colorful landscape. They both had been featured in several art books, including Tropical Deco. LaPan was specially noted for his popular murals in many Art Deco Hotels such as the Essex House and Victor Hotels.

Outside of the Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue area, The Flamingo Plaza was probably one of the most elaborately designed hotels. In 1988, the hotel was rehabbed by making the 38 rooms into 16 much larger rooms at the cost of $400,000. The building still stands today as a condominium and has been kept in pristine condition, with the original murals, terrazzo floors and stairway railing as they were in 1937. Shown are three vintage postcards from the 1940’s and several current day photographs taken on September 18, 2020.

1940’s vintage postcard of the lobby at Flamingo Plaza Hotel
1940’s vintage postcard of the interior & exterior of Flamingo Plaza Hotel
2020 Photograph of the front of Flamingo Plaza with the signage out for repairs
2020 Photograph of the front of Flamingo Plaza with the signage out for repairs
2020 Exterior bas-relief displaying pastel colored flamingos and palm trees surrounded by pink tinted keystone
One of the two original lobby murals by Miami muralist, Earl LaPan. Photo taken September 2020
Lobby with original terrazzo floors and glass blocks
Original staircase with the Art Deco hand rails
Lobby with original terrazzo floors. Photo taken September 2020
Photo of the Flamingo Plaza with the neon signage intact
1940's vintage postcard of the Flamingo Plaza Hotel.

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Read Time: 2 mins Barbara Baer Capitman, founder of the Miami Design Preservation League and monumental leader in the movement to save Art Deco, fought tirelessly for the preservation of Art Deco in the 1970s and 1980s. But it wasn’t until about 10 years into the effort that preservationists began to be taken seriously at the local level.

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