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Miami - Art Deco Variations

Landmarks exemplifying variations in Art Deco styles

 

The history of Art Deco in Miami is closely tied to the city's growth and development in the early 20th century. As Miami Beach emerged as a resort destination, the Art Deco style flourished, capturing the spirit of the era and reflecting the optimism and glamour of the time. The preservation of these architectural gems is a testament to the city's commitment to its cultural heritage and serves as a reminder of Miami's rich architectural and design history.

Art Deco, a popular architectural and design style of the early 20th century, has left a significant mark on the landscape of Greater Miami. The region is renowned for its diverse collection of Art Deco buildings, each with its own unique features and historical significance. Let's explore the different types of Art Deco found in Greater Miami and some landmark examples:

Streamline Moderne: Streamline Moderne is a variant of Art Deco characterized by sleek, aerodynamic forms and smooth, curving lines. It emerged in the 1930s and was inspired by the speed and dynamism of modern transportation. Streamline Moderne buildings often feature rounded edges, horizontal banding, and nautical or industrial motifs.

Landmark Example: Miami Beach Post Office (1937) Address: 1300 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

This iconic building showcases Streamline Moderne architecture with its rounded corners, horizontal bands of windows, and stylized bas-relief sculptures. It served as a symbol of progress and innovation during its time.

 

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Streamline Moderne - Miami Beach Post Office
Streamline Moderne - Miami Beach Post Office

Mediterranean Revival with Art Deco Elements:

 

In some instances, Art Deco elements were incorporated into the Mediterranean Revival style, creating a unique fusion of architectural influences. Mediterranean Revival buildings typically feature stucco walls, red tile roofs, and ornate details, while Art Deco elements introduce geometric patterns, stepped setbacks, and decorative embellishments.  A very popular landmark of this style is the Versace Mansion.

 

 

 
Mediterranean Style - Versace Mansion
Mediterranean Revival - Versace Mansion

Mediterranean Revival - The Carlyle Hotel

 

Another landmark example for the Mediterranean Revival architecture: The Carlyle Hotel (1939) Address: 1250 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139. 

The Carlyle Hotel combines the elegance of Mediterranean Revival architecture with Art Deco influences. Its vibrant neon signage, symmetrical façade, and geometric ornamentation exemplify the blending of these two styles.

 

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Mediterranean Revival - Carlyle Hotel
Mediterranean Revival - Carlyle Hotel

Tropical Deco

 

Tropical Deco is a regional adaptation of Art Deco that incorporates design elements inspired by Miami's lush surroundings. This style often includes motifs of palm fronds, flamingos, and seashells, reflecting the area's natural beauty and resort-like atmosphere.  The Colony Hotel is a quintessential example of Tropical Deco. Its pastel-colored façade, curved corners, and whimsical motifs of palm trees and flamingos capture the essence of Miami's tropical charm.

Landmark Example: The Colony Hotel (1939) Address: 736 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

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Tropical Deco Style - Colony Hotel
Tropical Deco Style - Colony Hotel

Zigzag Moderne

 

Zigzag Moderne, also known as Art Moderne, features zigzagging or chevron patterns, stepped forms, and geometric embellishments. This style emphasizes verticality and angularity, often incorporating decorative elements like glass blocks and metalwork.

Landmark Example: Congress Hotel South Beach (1936) Address: 1052 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Congress Hotel showcases Zigzag Moderne with its prominent verticality, strong horizontal lines, and distinctive chevron patterns. The striking façade, highlighted by glass blocks and metal detailing, is a testament to the boldness and dynamism of this style.

 

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Zigzag Moderne Style - Congress Hotel
Zigzag Moderne - Congress Hotel