Art Deco Home Demolished – Entry Gate Lives On at Art Deco Museum

On February 1st 2023, a 1937 Art Deco home was demolished at 1745 W 24th Street on Sunset Island #3 in Miami Beach. Unfortunately, it was located outside of a historic district, leaving it unprotected from the bulldozer.

As the demolition was underway, a passing neighbor decided to rescue the ornamental entry gate, which would otherwise have been sent to the landfill. Thanks to the donation of the Bienstock Family, the Art Deco gate was eventually relocated to the Art Deco Museum, 1001 Ocean Drive, where it is currently on view.

We researched the building’s history to provide the following reference information about the home.

1938 newspaper advertisement for the home;
Courtesy of Miami Herald
1949 photograph of Robert M. Little; Courtesy of Miami Herald

The architect of the home is Robert M. Little, who is known for the design of various residences and buildings in Miami, Miami Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. Little studied architecture at the renowned Beaux Arts School in Philadelphia, relocating from Pennsylvania to Florida in 1925. His career spanned several decades, throughout which he designed Art Deco, Mediterranean, and Post-War Modern style edifices; a few of his most notable works are the 1936 two-floor addition to the Washington Storage Company building (today the Wolfsonian–FIU), and various buildings throughout the University of Miami Coral Gables campus. Little was also a Fellow and later President of the American Institute of Architects, Florida South Chapter, where he was awarded for his tremendous contributions to architecture in South Florida.  

1969 photograph of John Brimhall;
Courtesy of Miami Herald

The home was formerly inhabited by various interesting characters, one of them being Horace S. Tuthill, Vice-President of New York dairy company Sheffield Farms. He made the home his winter residence. Another notable owner was John Brimhall, a renowned pianist, composer, and arranger best known for his teaching books for piano students. W.G. Welbon, an Ohio banker who oversaw the building of numerous homes in Miami and Miami Beach, also lived here in the home’s early years. 

Although this beautiful home tragically no longer stands, the preservation of its Art Deco entry gate serves to remind us of its architectural splendor, artistic beauty, and historical significance.

Original entry gate of Sunset Island 3 home on display at Art Deco Museum

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