from the Archives

Andy Warhol’s visit to Deco District

Read Time: 2 mins

March 2021 marks the 41st anniversary of the world-famous artist Andy Warhol’s visit to the South Beach Art Deco District. As one of the pioneering Art Deco collectors, Andy Warhol called the MDPL office in March 1980 and asked if someone would show him the Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach. An appointment was made and shortly after Warhol arrived from New York. He was given a top to bottom tour led by MDPL founder, Barbara Baer Capitman and Diana Camber of MDPL, who went on to become Director of the Bass Museum of Art. This event was widely covered by the news media and gave our new historic district a stamp of approval from an art-world celebrity.

Lynn Bernstein, an early supporter of MDPL and close friend of Barbara Baer Capitman remembers that day fondly, “I remember a frenzy of reporters. It was an incredibly upbeat happy day for MDPL. Barbara was amazing at attracting people to the movement and luring them down to Miami Beach to be part of the rediscovery of our Art Deco gems. Everyone felt they had a part to play. They were such incredibly fun days for all. I knew at the time how special the experience was and never took it for granted…she [Barbara} was incredibly goal oriented and recognized skills that each person she encountered might have and how they could contribute towards the transformation of the area into the National Register Historic District….”

Shown are 1980 Black and white photographs of Warhol’s visit at The Amsterdam Palace Apartments, 1116 Ocean Drive (now The Versace Mansion) from MDPL’s archives.

Andy Warhol being given a tour of the Amsterdam Palace Apartments by Diane Camber of MDPL.
Andy Warhol taking pictures in the Amsterdam Palace.
Andy Warhol touring the Art Deco District in March 1980.

Black and white photo of one of the tour trolleys for Andy Warhol’s visit. Pictured smiling is Lynn Bernstein who was the guide on that trolley.
Andy Warhol with Diane Camber on left and Leonard Horowitz on right in front of the Amsterdam Palace.

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

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Explore the MDPL Archives

Capitman's Cardozo Leads Way (1979)

Capitman’s Cardozo Leads Way (1979)

Read Time: 3 mins Andrew Capitman, son of Miami Design Preservation League leader Barbara Baer Capitman, was a leading Art Deco rehabilitation pioneer in the late 1970s and 1980s. In 1979, he purchased the Cardozo Hotel with a group of enthusiastic investors who believed in the resurgence of the city through the preservation of its past. Mr. Capitman instinctively knew that a 1930s revival would dramatically improve tourism.

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Six Art Deco Hotels Facing Renovation (1984)

Read Time: 2 mins In 1984, six hotels underwent major renovations that would mark the second wave of an Art Deco revival in South Beach. According to a Miami Herald article written by Paul Shannon on July 8, 1984, Royale Group Ltd. officials secured a $13.5 million loan to pay for the planned renovation, which included painting and refurbishing in the original Art Deco style.

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