Art Deco

With roots in Europe as far back as the 1880s, Art Deco rejected the ornate excesses of Victorian architecture. It had burst on the American scene after the 1925 Exposition International Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. The style arrived in South Florida at a time when Miami Beach was a blank slate – struggling to rebuild as a tourist mecca after the 1926 hurricane. And throughout the 1930s, nearly 800 Art Deco buildings were built. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s when Barbara Capitman, then a recent widow and newcomer to South Florida, first saw the dilapidated stucco buildings that, with their streamlined facades and Buck Rogers spires, would become her obsession. In 1976, she founded the Miami Design Preservation League with a group of like-minded artists and designers. They began the battle to save the long- neglected seaside neighborhood from forces ranging from fire to neglect to demolition. Art Deco Weekend dates to 1977, when a few early members of the Miami Design Preservation League tried to attract attention to the crumbling architecture of South Beach. In 1979, led by Capitman, the league got the district and its inventory of Tropical Deco buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1982, league co-founder Leonard Horowitz got a grant to paint a shabby block of Washington Avenue. Out went the beiges; in came the pinks and lemons and blues. Today Miami Beach’s Art Deco district is greatly respected in the in world of architecture and stands  as the purest concentration of Deco architecture in the world.
Buy photos in the Herald store


Buy photos in the Herald store

Comments

comments