art deco district

The Cavalier and the Art Deco Movement

South Beach is home to the largest concentration of 1920s and 1930s architecture in the world in its Art Deco District. The Art Deco movement was about decorative arts/architecture that began in the 1920s that soon turned into a major style in both Europe and the United States in the 1930s. In the 1930s, the style came to South Beach in Miami, and the Art Deco Historic District soon came to be. Built in 1936, The Cavalier was one of the buildings designed using this unique style of sleek, streamlined shapes and forms.

Art Deco developed from the “Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industrials,” which was an exhibition held in Paris in 1925 that first formally introduced the style. Art Deco’s style is considered bold, refined, modern, simple, and crisp. With Art Deco architecture, buildings were designed to have clean lines and have an uncluttered look to them. After World War I, Art Deco architecture began popping up in major European cities, like Paris. After several American architects attended the exposition and saw the Art Deco Style on the buildings across western Europe, they were eager to bring this style back home and use it.

The South Beach buildings famous for their Art Deco architecture were created later in the Art Deco era, which was during the mid-to-late 1930s; this late type of Art Deco architecture was referred to as “Streamline Moderne.”  This later Art Deco style is known for its curving forms, long horizontal lines, and nautical and tropical elements. Streamline Moderne was at its peak in the late 1930s when South Beach was going through a housing and hotel building boom.

During this boom, the Cavalier was built by Roy F. France. In its 80 years in existence, this boutique hotel still has the original architecture on its outside façade of bright pastel colors. In 2015, the Cavalier went through extensive restorations that give the hotel an updated twist to its original Art Deco beauty.

You can experience the wonder of this masterful architecture up-close-and-personal by staying at the Cavalier, located on Ocean Drive in South Beach’s Art Deco District. To book your stay at the Cavalier, call 305-673-1199 or click here.

Experience the Art Deco District

South Beach is home to the Art Deco District. This area is historic and beautiful, featuring eclectic architecture from the 1930s and 1940s. A person should take a stroll down Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue if they’re interested in checking out these unique and style on restaurants, boutiques, and hotels.

For those who want to learn more about this historic area, the Miami Design Preservation League offers an Art Deco District Walking Tour every day of the week. These 90-minute walking tours give visitors an introduction to Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MiMo) styles that are found in the district. The tour brings groups around hotels, restaurants, and other commercial structures – outside and inside.

The tours cost $25 and $20 for seniors, veterans, and students. Tours happen on Fridays through Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Reservations are not necessary. If you’d like to go on a tour, visit the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach) about 10 to 15 minutes before the tour leaves. Tickets can be purchased online, as well.

Some South Beach Art Deco-designed buildings include: Senor Frogs, The Webster, and The Cavalier Hotel. The Cavalier Hotel, which was designed by architect Roy F. Franc in 1936. Recently, this beautiful building has undergone extensive restorations that have updated its Art Deco look with a modern twist. The outside façade is still the original architecture; it is bright pastel colors. The hotel rooms have been updated with new eclectic features like Chicago brick walls and soothing shades of wood. Rooms also include decorative chandeliers, lighting fixtures, full-length paintings, baroque-colored photos, chrome fixtures, Carrera marble, and more.

Visit South Beach’s Art Deco District

People come from all over to visit South Beach’s iconic Art Deco District. It’s something definitely worth seeing in real life. At the Cavalier Hotel, you can even stay in one of these historic buildings in the heart of South Beach. To book your stay at the Cavalier, call 305-673-1199 or click here.