When visitors arrive, they are often captivated by the rich history of South Beach, which goes beyond its breathtaking beaches and extends to the iconic architecture that defines our city. The pastel shades and intricate geometric patterns that adorn our buildings beautifully harmonize with the never-ending sunshine and the endless expanse of blue seas that surround our shores, leaving an unforgettable impression. But how did this remarkable transformation come about?
South Beach, as we know it today, was once vast undeveloped farmland until 1870. At that time, the Lum Brothers acquired 160 acres of this land with the intention of cultivating coconuts. Interestingly, it was one of their daughters who bestowed the name “South Beach” upon the property. In 1886, the Lum Brothers built the first structure in South Beach—a farmhouse. However, they eventually decided to move on, and the land was handed over to John Collins.
Evolution of South Beach
Collins, upon discovering a source of fresh water, expanded his holdings and embarked on developing the land further. A significant milestone occurred in 1912 when Collins sold 400 acres to the Lummus Brothers, local businessmen who envisioned creating modest single-family homes on the island. To improve accessibility, Collins initiated the construction of a bridge in 1913. Unfortunately, financial limitations halted the progress of the bridge. This is where Carl Fisher enters the picture, generously providing the necessary funds to complete the project. Today, the bridge is known as the Venetian Causeway, thereby fulfilling Collins’ visionary dream.
Miami Beach was officially incorporated as a town in 1915. It took another five years for the land boom to begin. South Beach quickly became a favored destination for the wealthy and famous. Prominent individuals such as the Firestones, J.C. Penny, and Albert Champion built lavish mansions in the area. Visitors soon sought to experience the allure of this unique island for themselves, leading to the realization of The Cavalier hotel design in 1936. For further updates on the evolution of South Beach beyond the 1930s, we invite you to follow our blog.
Have a memorable visit by staying at the Cavalier’s South Beach Art Deco hotel that is located on Ocean Drive in front of the beach.For reservations call (305) 673 1199. Visit our link to know more about History of South Beach Art Deco.