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. Brown, it opened in August 1926, a month before the Great Hurricane. Miraculously, it suffered minimal damage. Many first hand reports said that much of the expensive furniture from the hotel was swept out and clogged up the nearby canal along Dade Blvd. and yet the building itself stood up very well.
Built as a seven story Mediterranean Revival structure it was entirely fireproof, with a swimming pool, lush gardens, two golf courses surrounding the hotel and a landing for one’s gondola or powerboat at the front door. There was a large enclosed rooftop terrace and restaurant that overlooked the golf course and the greenery on one side, and the ocean on the other side. It was also ideally located in the center of many sporting and social activities of that era. The Boulevard was less luxurious than Fisher’s other hotels as it serviced more middle-class guests and was half the price of the more upscale Flamingo Hotel. It had more of a cafeteria style dining plan that served simple American food while being open to the public, not just guests.
During WWII, the hotel served as barracks to the soldiers. After the war, in the 1950’s it became a Retirement Hotel, that was centrally heated and provided three meals daily. The building was demolished in April 1980, in spite of great protest from preservationists. As fate would have it, it was Fisher’s last hotel to be built, as well as his last hotel to be torn down.
Shown are MDPL’s archival 1920’s postcard and photo of the putting green at the Boulevard, exterior photo; credit to Florida Memory and interior lobby photo; credit to Wolfsonian-FIU archives. Today on the same lot stands the Meridian Lofts, a condo complex which has the same angular design as the original building.