ART DECO NATIONAL HISTORIC DISTRICT

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Mediterranean Revival Essex Art Deco DeLido MiMo
Mediterranean Revival
Art Deco Style
MiMo Style

There are three predominate architectural styles found in the Miami Beach National Historic District:
Mediterranean Revival: Buildings that evoke an Old World image, featuring decorative columns, arched windows, clay barrel tile roofs, rough stucco walls, wrought iron and spindle gates guarding picturesque courtyards. These buildings are a whimsical interpretation of the old world, combining elements from differing Mediterranean styles resulting in a “fantasy” architecture adopted by early 1920s Miami Beach developers. The Spanish Village along Española Way is an excellent area to study the style.
What to look for: Bell towers, archways, awnings, porches, balconies, carved stonework, rough stucco walls, clay tiles roofs, wrought iron fixtures.
Art Deco: The term Art Deco came into common usage in the 1980s as public interest in the style was renewed and is generally used to cover several distinct periods. Art Deco became popularized at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, featuring angular yet voluptuous materials with elaborate motifs of fountains, nudes and flora. Miami Beach’s building boom came during the second phase of Art Deco known as Streamline Moderne, which began with the stock market crash in 1929 and ended in most cases with the entry of the USA into WWII in 1941. Miami Beach architects used local imagery to create what we now call Tropical Deco. These buildings feature relief ornamentation featuring whimsical flora, fauna and ocean-liner motifs to reinforce the image of Miami Beach as a seaside resort.
What to look for: Over-all symmetry, ziggurat (stepped) rooflines, glass block, decorative sculptural panels, eyebrows, round porthole windows, terrazzo floors, curved edges and corners, elements in groups of three, neon lighting (used in both exteriors as well as interior spaces).
MIMO: The Post World War II or MiMo Style of design became popular the 1950s when architects were heavily influenced by the International Style. Architects in Miami Beach carried on the whimsical tropical tradition using new materials and forms. Eyebrows gave way to metal louvers and sun shades, tiled mosaic walls became a popular feature as did open balconies and catwalks. A Miami Beach variant, the Garden Style, features apartments that are accessed through open-air walkways built around a central garden.
What to look for: Asymmetry and rakish angles; cheese hole cutouts; kidney and amoeba shapes; futuristic jet and space age forms; mosaic murals; anodized aluminum in gold and copper.

Art Deco Historical District

Art Deco Historical District in yellow

Miami Design Preservation League
In August of 1976 The Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) was formed through the efforts of Barbara Baer Capitman and her son John Capitman. The Capitmans worked with designers Leonard Horowitz and Lillian Barber to identify a concentration of 1930s buildings in South Miami Beach that the group felt could be a historic district of 20th century architecture.

In May 1979 The Miami Beach Architectural Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the nation’s first 20th century Historic District.

Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) is a non-profit organization devoted to preserving, protecting, and promoting the cultural, social, economic, environmental and architectural integrity of the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District. It is the oldest Art Deco Society in the World.

MDPL provides cultural and educational programs as well as offering walking tours that have special appeal to those interested in art, design, architecture, history, preservation, urban and community planning and development.

Walking Tours of the Historical District
Ocean Drive and Beyond:
This ninety-minute walking tour provides an introduction to the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MiMo) styles found within the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District. Explore hotels, restaurants, and other commercial structures with a visit to a number of interiors. Tours depart from the Gift Shop on the following schedule:
Mondays at 10:30 am
Tuesdays at 10:30 am
Wednesdays at 10:30 am
Thursdays at 10:30 and and 6:30 pm
Fridays at 10:30 am
Saturdays at 10:30 am
Sundays at 10:30 am
Prices: Adults US$ 25.00 - Senior Citizens and Students (with ID) US$ 20.00

Self-Guided Audio Tours:
Walk through Miami Beach's National Historical District at your own pace, and learn about its architectural history using an iPod-based self-guided tour and accompanying map. The complete tour takes approximately 1 1/2 hours, but you can set your own pace. Commentary is provided in English, Spanish, German, and French. Self-guided tours are available at the Welcome Center seven days a week, from 09:30 to 17:00.
Prices: Adults US$ 20.00 Senior Citizens and Students (with ID) US$ 15.00

Advance Reservations are not taken - just arrive at the Art Deco Gift Shop (located on 12th Street, just west of Ocean Drive) within 15-20 minutes of the scheduled departure time in order to purchase your ticket.

Parking:
Street "Pay and Display" parking is available on most streets, but it is recommended to park in one of the City of Miami Beach parking facilities at:

* 7th Street Garage: Between Washington & Collins on 7th Street.
* 12th Street Garage: Just West of Washington Avenue on 12th Street.
* 13th Street Garage: Just East of Collins Avenue on 13th Street.

Bus services
South Beach Local (123) The Shuttle circles South Beach every 10 to 15 minutes.
C (103) From 41st. Street, Miami Beach and to 5th. Street via Collins Avenue. Originates in Downtown Miami. Every 20 mins.
S (119) From Sunny Isles Beach and Downtown Miami. Every 20 minutes.

Address and Contacts:
MDPL & The Art Deco Gift Shop
Located on 12th Street, just west of Ocean Drive
Miami Beach FL 33139
Telephone: 305-672-2014 (Administrative Office) Fax: 305-200-0195 -
Telephone: 305-531-3484 (Gift Shop) - EMail - visit@mdpl.org

Link to Art Deco Miami Design Preservation League

Miami Beach City Hall

Ocean Drive
Old Miami City Hall
Ocean Drive Art Deco Hotels

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