An Introduction to Miami Modernist Architecture

Eden Roc in Miami Beach, Florida, has been a favorite among politicians and Hollywood's top stars
Eden Roc in Miami Beach, Florida, has been a favorite among politicians and Hollywood's top stars | © agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Laurence Kidd
5 November 2020

Miami Modernist architecture is a regional style of architecture that developed in South Florida during the post-war period as a response to the International Style of architecture. Here, Culture Trip focuses on five excellent and world-famous buildings as we guide you through a brief introduction to this revolutionary and uniquely Florida-esque style of architecture.

Fontainebleau Hotel

Resort, Suite Hotel, Hotel
3.9/5 (4261 Reviews)
Courtesy of Fontainebleau Miami Beach / Expedia

First on our list is the Fontainebleau Hotel, a Miami Beach building with a buzzing nightlife. It was designed in the 1950s by an architect named Morris Lapidus, a name synonymous with MiMo (Miami Modernist) architecture. Morris will forever be remembered for his Neo-Baroque hotel buildings that made Miami Beach come alive in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Eden Roc

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
3.9/5 (1515 Reviews)
Courtesy of Eden Roc Miami Beach / Expedia

Another building designed in the 1950s by Morris Lapidus is the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. Eden Roc Miami Beach has been a favorite of distinguished guests, from politicians to Hollywood’s top stars. The hotel was renovated in 2008 and has 631 guest rooms, including 96 suites. The hotel was designed for Harry Mufson, who had partnered with Ben Novack to build the Fontainebleau.

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  • Ritz-Carlton

    4.4/5 (64 Reviews)
    Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach / Expedia
    At The Ritz-Carlton, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a chic urban landscape in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. The landmark hotel was designed by – you might have guessed it – Morris Lapidus. Keeping true to his postmodernism style, the Dilido building (as it was originally known) embraces its glamorous past with a transformed contemporary spirit.
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    Vagabond Hotel

    Motel, Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of The Vagabond Hotel / Expedia
    Situated in the historic heart of Miami, The Vagabond Hotel is a perfect example of MiMo architecture. The building was originally designed by Robert Swartburg in 1953, but it has since been renovated and given a fresh new feel in 2014. Its vibrant decor reflects the chic style of the 1950s, and you can enjoy the retro theme from your bright, spacious room or while sipping a cocktail by the outdoor pool.

    The Deauville

    Hotel, Resort
    Map View
    View at terrace and swimming pool of the Deauville Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
    View at terrace and swimming pool of the Deauville Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA | © Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
    This contemporary beachfront hotel was designed by architect Melvin Grossman in 1957 and is known as the building where The Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 16th, 1964. This event catapulted The Deauville into stardom, as it quickly became Hollywood’s favorite destination. At the “Rolling Parties” in the Napoleon Ballroom, you’d find artists such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Louis Armstrong and Tony Bennett.
    These recommendations were updated on November 5, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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