History of Art Deco
Right at the turn of the 20th century, Art Nouveau was becoming a thing of the past in France. Quelle dommage, as the French would say—but it was time for a new design standard. By the 1920s, Art Moderne was flourishing. When the artform reached the states, it was given the name Art Deco.
In New York, Art Deco is celebrated in landmarks such as the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. In San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is an Art Deco masterpiece. In Miami, Art Deco pieces and inspiration can be found everywhere. It is, according to many experts, easier to see and appreciate Art Deco design in Miami Beach than anywhere else in the United States.
Miami Art Deco
There so much of the fabulous design that the Miami Design Preservation League offers several tours of Miami Beach’s historic architecture, all of which leave from the Art Deco Welcome Center at 1001 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. There’s a self-guided audio tour available daily that allows you to explore at your own pace.
Local historians and architects offer in-depth looks at the structures and their history during a comprehensive 90-minute Ocean Drive and Beyond tour on Wednesday or Saturday morning.
You also can learn more about the city’s Art Deco District on a Thursday night Art Deco District Up-to-Date Tour. The guided tour lasts 90 minutes and explains the history behind the stunning architecture enjoyed by millions. and strolls you around for 90 minutes explaining why local hot spots were architecturally celebrated way before celebrities discovered them. For details or reservations, you can call 305.672.2014.
If you want to do some independent exploring or have time to study just one building, make sure you see The Delano Hotel. Located at 1685 Collins Ave. in the heart of all the action, the Delano is noteworthy for ranking #39 on the list of U.S. buildings preferred by architects, and #4 four among the list’s Art Deco buildings, right behind those famous New York City skyscrapers and San Francisco’s beloved bridge.
Art Deco is so prevalent in Miami, even the Bluegreen Vacations resort just north of the district, Solara Surfside, has an Art Deco-inspired design and vibe.
If you’re fascinated by Art Deco, one look around South Beach will tell you you’ve struck the mother lode.