1   2   3   4   

Fountainbleau Hotel, Miami Beach

Post-World War II Miami matched, if not surpassed, the exuberance of the rest America. Following the war, many soldiers who had been stationed in Miami moved back with their families and the permanent population grew rapidly. Air travel increased and new opportunities for tourism and vacationing once again drew large crowds to the region.

As in the past, Miami architects created new styles to attract both American and, increasingly, international travelers. Large "mid-century modern" hotels offered guests restaurants, shopping arcades, and every imaginable convenience. North Miami Beach became the premier location of what would come to be known as the MiMo, or Miami Modern, district. Architect Morris Lapidus was the inspiration for much of MiMo, including the exuberant style of exterior design and the lavish excess of his interiors. The Fountainebleau Hotel (1954) and the neighboring Eden Roc (1956) reflected Lapidus’s design philosophy that "too much is never enough." Other designers, including Igor B. Polevizky and Kenneth Triester, made North Beach into a celebrated center for MiMo architecture.

Cadillac Hotel, Miami Beach

The role of the automobile in transforming and democratizing travel in American became an element in shaping modernist architecture in South Florida, especially in Miami Beach.

The Cadillac Hotel is probably one of the most extreme examples, for it featured the Eldorado Supper Club, the Fleetwood Dining Room, and the Golden "V" Cocktail Lounge. Built in 1940, this 14-story hotel at 39th and Collins Avenue directly wedded auto travel to hotel design, literally cementing the connection between the two in 1940s America.

Image Gallery