Monday, January 13, 2014
We started our day in Miami by visiting the MiMo District. It was the opportunity to snap some mid century motels and check out some of my favorite postcard locations like Carl’s El Padre.
As it was:
Carl’s was closed when we were there, and it looks like they are either preparing for remodeling or demolition.
New Yorker Boutique Hotel (Norman Giller, 1953) – 6500 Biscayne Boulevard:
From the Historic District Designation Report: Motel New Yorker (now Davis Motel) 6500 Biscayne Boulevard 1953, Architect: Norman Giller. Currently called the Davis Motel, this building is a quintessential example of motel design in the “modern age.” An original plan indicates that the building was constructed for Mr. A. Barson. The building is small in scale with only eighteen units, and cost $55,000 to build. Originally named the “Motel New Yorker”, it features an “L” shaped plan and each of the two stories mirror each other. The focal point of the composition is the office, strategically placed close to Biscayne Boulevard. The design uses contrasting geometry to create its unique approach.
Shalimar Motel (Edwin Reeder, 1950) – 6200 Biscayne Boulevard:
From the Historic District Designation Report: Architect: Edwin Reeder. Along with the South Pacific Hotel next door at 6300 Biscayne, and the Sinbad Motel to the south at 6150 Biscayne Boulevard, the Shalimar completed a thematic group of motels alluding to sea adventure and exotic locales. The original building permit indicates that the building was constructed as an apartment, however the plan does not include provision for kitchens. The “I” shaped configuration of the plan would be changed to a “U” when an addition was made in 1953. The swimming pool was added in 1955. The Shalimar’s designed opted for a more residential look, as the series of bays are separated by full height columns that carry a low-sloped gable roof. The focal point of the Shalimar is its delta wing pylon that carries the neon signage for the building.
Sinbad Motel (1953) – 6150 Biscayne Boulevard:
From the Historic District Designation Report: The building permit for the Sinbad Motel was for a twelve-unit apartment built at a cost of $108,350.00. The Sinbad consists of a rectangular block without the amenity of a swimming pool. The building has been considerably altered, as the original fenestration of the first floor has been enclosed, and a heavy metal picket balustrade now frames the simple terrace that extends around the building. In a 1950s postcard the caption read in part: “Cathedral beamed ceilings—Foam rubber bedding—Tub baths with showers.”
South Pacific Motel (1953) – 6300 Biscayne Boulevard:
From the Historic District Designation Report: Architect: Charles Giller. The South Pacific Motel with its twenty units is not one of the biggest of the 1950s motels on the Boulevard, but is one of the most interesting because of its enormous pylon sign and use of a stone facing. The one story office that fronts onto Biscayne Boulevard is faced with a coursed stone veneer that steps down to create a zigzag lighting bolt.
Stephen’s International Hotel, 6320 Biscayne Boulevard, 1946:
The next two shots are part of the same complex, but the middle part has been torn down:
From the Historic District Designation Report: Over the years the motel was known by several different names, including the “Ken-Lin” and the Elks Motel Apartments. The complex contained twenty-two units, some with kitchens.
After our time in MiMo, we headed to South Beach. Collins Ave is torn up, so parking was at a premium. We found a parking garage with some…unusual individuals hanging out in the stairway. View from the top:
We walked down Collins Avenue before heading over to Ocean Drive.
It was plenty warm, so we stopped for a sparkling cider at the News Cafe.
After cooling off and people watching for a bit, we wandered over to look at the famous beach.
Then we walked up and down Ocean Drive, looking at the Art Deco.
We also stopped off at the Art Deco Shop for the Miami Design Preservation League where I picked up a vintage postcard!
Next, we headed back to downtown Miami for dinner at Crazy About You. The evening was the perfect temperature. We sat outside. Loved the music, loved the food. A fantastic experience.
The sun set, and we headed back to Key Largo.