Miami Beach’s Art Deco District is a historically important area located in the trendy South Beach neighborhood. It includes about 900 unique buildings and was designated a United States historic district in 1979. It was also the first 20th-century neighborhood to be recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, with most buildings constructed between 1923 and 1943.
Signature building elements in the district include sleek curves, liberal use of glass blocks, terrazzo floors, pastel exteriors and porthole windows and railings that are reminiscent of the ocean liners that docked in the area during that time. Ocean Drive is one of the most well-known streets in the area. Notable buildings include Casa Casaurina, a 1930s Spanish-style mansion that was once the home of Gianni Versace, and the 1937 Park Central Hotel, where Hollywood legends like Clark Cable and Rita Hayworth were noted regulars. Don’t miss the Cardozo Hotel, a 1939 property owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
The district hosts the popular Art Deco Weekend every year, during which Ocean Drive is closed to traffic and over 140 vendors showcase vintage and handmade paintings, photography, jewelry, sculptures, posters and more. There are classic cars, along with street entertainment, and everything is showcased by the famous Art Deco buildings in the background.
The Art Deco Welcome Center is at Ocean and 10th, and is a good starting place to pick up brochures and books. The neighborhood stretches to the Atlantic Ocean in the east, Sixth Street to the south, Alton Road to the west and Dade Boulevard to the north. There are several notable restaurants in the area and a pedestrian-only outdoor mall nearby.