Miami Beach South Beach Neighborhoods: Art Deco District

Services for Real Estate Pros

One of the most popular areas to live in South Beach is the famous Art Deco District.  Located all along Ocean Drive, and spanning throughout the neighborhoods of South Beach, the Art Deco District consists of more than 800 buildings which were built between 1923 and 1943.  The vast array of historic structures include swank condos, boutique hotels, and a variety of shops and museums all in the famous style.  Examples of Art Deco South Beach residences include The Carlyle, Flamingo Plaza, The Fontana, The Netherland, and The Vanderbilt.  The South Beach collection of Art Deco real estate is the largest compilation of this style of architecture anywhere in the world.  For this reason, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, to protect the integrity of the designs and ensure its survival in the every-changing tastes in real estate on South Beach.

Art Deco was brought to South Beach largely as a result of the major hurricane of 1926 which almost destroyed the city.  With the area needing to be rebuilt, and with South Beach being a haven for wealthy families during the Roaring Twenties, it only fit that the area would be redesigned in the new modern style of the time.  Art Deco, as a style, was first introduced to the world stage at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1925.  This ultra-modern, for the time, style was considered the height of fashion, and was employed in the renovation of the city by wealthy Americans seeking to bring a piece of Europe home with them.

Common characteristics of the Art Deco style, which can still be seen in South Beach condos today, include a “modernization” of past art including rounded edges and portholes.  These nautical themes fit perfectly in a city full of waterfront real estate, like South Beach.  The color palette, full of pastel colors and neon accents, evokes a sense of entertainment that has persisted in South Beach for decades.  One of the clearest “modern” traits evident in Art Deco architecture is the reference to machines, gears, and wheels which is reminiscent of the technological boom of the 1920s and 1930s in America.  

Over the years, many of these historic edifices had fallen into disrepair and the and the threat of a new modernization spurred a movement to protect Art Deco in South Beach.  With its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, a new project was begun in South Beach to protect these buildings.  A large number have since been renovated and restored to their original glory, and the Art Deco style of architecture has become a signature of South Beach real estate.  Those lucky enough to own South Beach homes or condos in the Art Deco style are able to partake in this integral piece of history of the city.

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