Art Deco Buildings on Washington and Collins Avenue
From the (A) north end of Ocean Drive, heading inland away from the waterfront, we can first take a quick detour to Española Way, a small lane running parallel and just south of 15th Street in the heart of South Beach.
(B) Quick Detour: Española Way
Nothing to do with Art Deco but worth a quick detour. It is a pretty street with a Spanish colonial atmosphere that dates back to the 1920's and is lined with sidewalk restaurants and tapas bars. Perhaps return in the evening when it is livelier and the street gorgeously lights up.
(C) The Commodore
On the corner of Collins and 14th, this is a 3-story building in the Art Deco style with Streamlined Moderne influences built in 1939. Many elements present here: Continuous eyebrows rounded at corners, porthole-shaped ornamentation and concentric low-relief circles, glass block ornamentation, interior and exterior multi-colored terrazzo floor designs and a slightly stepped ziggurat parapet roofline at the rounded building corner.
(D) The Shepley
Steps from the Commodore, The Shepley relives the glamour of the 1930s-era art deco style. In 1938, renowned New York architect Henry Hohauser delivered one of his most acclaimed Art Deco jewels. Located in the heart of the South Beach vibe and filled with signature features of the era, The Shepley was born. 75 years later, Argentina-born designer Pablo Chiappori, brings back to life the exciting vintage look of this unique and intimate boutique hotel with natural colors, neon lights and streamlined elements. Its interior is not to be missed, adorned with crystal chandeliers and the butter soft textures of velvet and hardwood, the ambience of this boutique hotel is truly charming.
(E) The Webster
A historical Art Deco building designed in 1939 by famed architect Henry Hohauser, formerly a hotel, it has been totally redone into a 3-story outrageously chic shopping emporium with men's and women's clothing from the most elite brands, fine jewelry, vintage watches, art offerings, a lounge area, rooftop space and the first U.S. outpost of the famously hip Paris eatery Caviar Kaspia.
(F) The Marlin
This 3-story historical property built in 1939 featuring an exquisite Art Deco exterior façade was once the home of South Beach Studios where the likes of Bob Marley, Jay Z, Aerosmith, U2, and Pharrell Williams recorded some of their most prominent works.
(G) The Miami Beach Post Office
The Miami Beach Post Office is a historic 1937 Art Moderne building designed by Howard Lovewell Cheney. Step inside, in the circular lobby there is a fountain that sits directly below a round light fixture that has been painted to resemble the sun set against a bright teal background. The lobby murals by Charles Hardman depict Ponce de Leon's invasion of Florida and sit above the numerous gold post office boxes.
(H) Washington Park
Washington Park Hotel is actually a collection of four landmarked Art Deco hotels occupying one city block. Recently renovated, the lobby exterior has been restored to its 1943 glory. The interior is adorned with warm woods, a light and airy palette of off-tone neutrals, whites, grays, with splashes of color in art and accessories.
(I) Essex House
Completed in 1938 by famed Floridian architect, Henry Hohauser, the Essex House was designed by Hohauser to resemble an Art Deco landlocked ocean liner, complete with a tower that resembles a ship's smokestack. In fact, his maritime alterations to the Art Deco motif have since been referred to as Nautical Moderne. The Essex house is the Clevelander's more sedate sister property.
(J) The Hotel of South Beach
Nestled in the corner of 8th and Collins, 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.
Originally built in 1939, by master architect L. Murray Dixon, and redesigned in 1990s by innovative fashion designer
Todd Oldham, it was the first time an American fashion designer had created all of the interior aspects of a hotel. Consistent with Todd Oldham's love of handmade details and lush colors, the decor at The Hotel is a cozy mix of cool, rich, vibrant colors, and artisan detailing. From the hand airbrushed tiles to the mosaic door pulls, almost everything was custom designed and handmade exclusively for the property.
Continue this DIY Walk back towards Ocean Drive and Fifth Street.
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