Art Deco Tour in Miami (Self Guided), Miami

Take a tour to visit the most astounding constructions and places of interest in the Miami Beach Art Deco District. The buildings were built by famous architects and their design is worth to be admired. Aside from this, the tour will help you learn new things about the history of the city.
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Art Deco Tour in Miami Map

Guide Name: Art Deco Tour in Miami
Guide Location: USA » Miami (See other walking tours in Miami)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 15
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: stacey
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Art Deco Welcome Center
  • Clevelander Hotel
  • Versace Mansion - The Villa Casa Casuarina
  • Tides Hotel
  • Carlyle Hotel
  • Cardozo Hotel
  • Cavalier Hotel
  • McAlpin Hotel
  • 1450 Collins Avenue
  • Webster Hotel
  • Marlin Hotel
  • Essex House Hotel
  • Hotel of South Beach
  • Colony Hotel
  • Breakwater Hotel
Art Deco Welcome Center

1) Art Deco Welcome Center

The Art Deco Welcome Center located at Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is run by the Miami Design Preservation League and hosts tours, lectures, films and exhibitions about the Art Deco district of the city. The purpose of the center is to preserve the unique architecture found on the three streets that make up the district.

The Art Deco district of Miami consists of three parallel streets, Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue. In the 1920s and 30s art deco was regarded as an ultra modern style of architecture. Today, it has become retrograde. The art deco buildings in Miami are pastel colored with a uniqueness and intricacy in design.

The Art Deco Welcome Center organizes 90 minute walking tours for visitors explaining the concept of art deco and teaching them about its icons. The structures were built in the 1920s and 1930s and today house hotels and restaurants. The original facades are preserved thanks to the efforts of the Miami Design Preservation League. The center also has informational maps pamphlets and books about art deco, including the Art Deco Guide which describes all the buildings in the district. Guided group tours conducted by local historians, self guided audio tours and mobile phone tours are available at the Art Deco Welcome Center. There is also a shop selling gift articles with an art deco theme.
Clevelander Hotel

2) Clevelander Hotel

Clevelander is a five-story hotel located in Miami Beach. It was built in the 1920's. It is also known as Giant Sculpture. The hotel is situated in front of one of the city government buildings, closer to the lake.
Versace Mansion - The Villa Casa Casuarina

3) Versace Mansion - The Villa Casa Casuarina

Built in the early 1930s in Mediterranean Revival style, The Villa Casa Casuarina was the former home of Italian designer Gianni Versace, who was tragically murdered in front of its steps in 1997.
Now a luxury boutique hotel, the property has retained the extravagant and over-the-top features designed by Versace, including its 54-foot mosaic-tiled swimming pool lined in 24-carat gold.
Tides Hotel

4) Tides Hotel

The Tides hotel is one of the tallest and most elegant Art Deco hotels in Miami Beach. It is very beautiful, done almost entirely in white linens and candles. It is considered a sophisticated, sedate and luxurious building in a contemporary atmosphere.
Carlyle Hotel

5) Carlyle Hotel

Another iconic landmark, its façade remains virtually unchanged from the original hotel erected in 1939. The Carlyle has been the backdrop of many movies, Scarface, The Birdcage, Random Harts, Bad Boys... This is a good example of the Art Deco rule of thirds.
Cardozo Hotel

6) Cardozo Hotel

Built in 1939 , the Cardozo Hotel was named after, Benjamin Cardozo, one of the first Jewish jurors appointed to the US Supreme Court. Cardozo is part of the Art Deco District, recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.
Designed by architect, Henry Hohauser, Cardozo showcases traditional art deco style, offering rounded lines, like the fender of a Studebaker. The hotel features keystone trim, made of dyed porous limestone.
Cavalier Hotel

7) Cavalier Hotel

The decorative stucco friezes outside the Cavalier Hotel are significant for more than aesthetic reasons. France used them to add symmetry (adhering to deco's golden “Rule of Three”) and accentuate the hotel’s verticality by drawing the eye upward. The pattern he chose also reflected a fascination with ancient civilizations engendered by the recent rediscovery of King Tut’s tomb and the Chichén Itzá temples.
McAlpin Hotel

8) McAlpin Hotel

The McAlpin is arguably the purest distillation of Miami's Art Deco style on this list, with its perfectly symmetrical design, the wonderfully Miami pastel hues of pink and turquoise, the patterns of lines that stretch the length and breadth the building's facade, not to mention the face formed in the center of the building by three windows and some of the dividing lines. It is an exceptionally pretty little building.
1450 Collins Avenue

9) 1450 Collins Avenue

Inspired by everything from car fenders to airplane noses, proponents of art deco’s Streamline Moderne look began to soften buildings’ hitherto boxy edges. But when Hohauser designed Hoffman’s Cafeteria in 1940 he took modern to the max. The landmark (now Señor Frog's) has a sleek, splendidly curved facade. *****PH*****
Webster Hotel

10) Webster Hotel

Dating back to 1939, The Webster perfectly captures the spirit of Miami with its straight lines, ornate carvings, and neon accents. Its design was conceived in the mind of famous architect Henry Hohauser. Formerly a hotel, today it remains in business as a high-end, multi-brand fashion boutique. The building is three stories tall and even has a rooftop deck for visitors to enjoy.
Marlin Hotel

11) Marlin Hotel

Collins Avenue is less of a unified architectural set piece than Ocean Drive. Nonetheless, a handful of gems survive, notably the Marlin, a 1939 design by L. Murray Dixon that recalls sci-fi serials of the era such as Flash Gordon. The beautifully renovated hotel still has its iconic “eyebrows” over the windows, a Dixon trademark across his other properties, including the Tides, and pastel-colored walls. Unrelated to its Art Deco past, the Marlin is home to one of the city’s top recording studios.
Essex House Hotel

12) Essex House Hotel

This 1938 gem is a stunning example of Maritime deco (also known as Nautical Moderne). Designed to evoke an ocean liner, the Essex House hotel is rife with marine elements, from the rows of porthole-style windows and the natty racing stripes, to the towering smokestack-like sign. With a prow angled proudly into the street corner, the building seems ready to steam out to sea.
Hotel of South Beach

13) Hotel of South Beach

This well-preserved gem from the 1930s is adorned in the rich colors, shapes and textures that celebrate the jewel motif of the original Tiffany Hotel. Quietly tucked away between Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, the vibe here is laid-back and unpretentious even though the beach and party zone are less than a block away.
Colony Hotel

14) Colony Hotel

The Colony Hotel is one of the fabulous Art Deco hotels along Ocean Drive in Miami South Beach. It was designed by Henry Hohauser in 1935. Hohauser designed many buildings in the South Beach precinct providing a significant contribution to the Deco heritage of the area.
Breakwater Hotel

15) Breakwater Hotel

A neon-lit beacon of South Beach, The Breakwater’s protruding electric-blue sign lights up the Miami night sky and can be seen from almost anywhere in Lummus Park. A much-loved icon of the neighborhood, The Breakwater was designed in 1936 by Yugoslavian architect Anton Skiskewicz, and sports clean, colorful lines and the archetypal symmetry emblematic of the Art Deco period. The 99-room boutique hotel was extensively renovated in 2011, restoring The Breakwater to its former glory.

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