The History of Art Deco

23 January 2019

Say “Miami Beach” and we’ll bet that images of pastel colors, short two-story buildings with portholes, and curved facades with decorative elements come to mind. Recognized as Art Deco architecture, Miami Beach is home to the first 20th-century neighborhood to be recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

The History of Miami Beach Art Deco

Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District is made up of 800+ buildings and structures built between 1923 and 1943. Created by the hard work and perseverance of the Miami Design Preservation League, who has worked diligently since 1976, Art Deco in Miami is nationally recognized and protected. The League, considered the oldest Art Deco Society in the World, has helped create Miami’s iconic style and created a groundswell of interest from designers and developers interested in preserving the area’s Art Deco elements and original style.

Seeing Art Deco Architecture

Reaching its “heyday” in the early 1920s and 1930s, this style of architecture is a modern take on neoclassical, one that is equally historic, retro and fabulous. It first made its debut in Paris in 1925, marked by its characteristic bright colors, exotic flora and fauna motifs, porthole windows and sleek curves.

To see art deco architecture in Miami Beach, one doesn’t have to go fa. The Art Deco Historic District in Miami Beach stretches north from 5th Street up to 23rd Street, along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue. Though there are many buildings in Miami Beach outside of this area that are considered Art Deco, this specific section of square blocks is defined as the “Art Deco District.”

Famous buildings worth noting in the Art Deco District include The Century, The Webster, and The Wolfsonian. Between 6th and 7th street, The Celino South Beach hotel, is an Art Deco gem that was once a popular hangout for Hollywood glitterati like Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Rita Hayworth. Further up the street, there is the popular party spot the Clevelander Hotel, the restored National Hotel, which boasts a two-story lobby and the longest pool in Miami Beach, at 205 feet, and the renowned Delano Hotel. The sparkling white hotel with its sleek fins was once the tallest building in Miami Beach, now an A-list haunt for celebrities and socialites looking to get away.

About The Shepley Hotel

Built in 1937 by New York architect Henry Hohauser, The Shepley Hotel is also an Art Deco Hotel. Our historic boutique 29-room hotel is situated in the heart of the Miami Beach Art Deco district, steps from many of the other buildings that made the area so distinct. Today, the hotel is an idyllic oasis in the heart of South Beach, reimagined by Argentinian designer Pablo Chiappori and only steps to all the attractions.

At the north edge of the Art Deco Historic District, Miami Beach’s pedestrian-only promenade and outdoor mall, Lincoln Road is lined by restaurants, shops, and more, that feature many Art Deco details.

Book Your Stay

Dig deeper and explore South Florida’s culture with a stay at The Shepley Hotel.  Situated in the heart of the Miami Beach Art Deco district, The Shepley Hotel is an boutique 29-room hotel that offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of this great city. Just steps to the art deco district, there is no better place than The Shepley Hotel. Book your stay with us today and save on rates!

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