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Review and Photos of Art Deco Weekend 2012

Review and Photos
January 18, 2012 By Jess in Miami: Local NewsMiami: Travel NewsMiami: Things to Do  | 2 Comments

Last weekend saw the 35th annual Art Deco weekend here in Miami Beach, presented by the Miami Design Preservation League. The weekend celebration was originally created to generate interest in the area and have the Art Deco buildings placed on the National Register of Historical Places. The idea worked, and the one square mile has nearly one thousand buildings on the list. It is now protected by some of the best preservation laws in the country.




In 1912, the Lummus brothers recognized the potential of Miami Beach. Back then the area was home only to alligators and mosquitoes. The brothers bought land from South Pointe up to Lincoln Road and developed it as a destination for tourists to come and enjoy the beach. They brought ferry boats of day visitors over and sold land to build modest hotels. Most importantly they made one side of Ocean Drive a public park, giving the street it’s beginning as a beach neighborhood.


The Lummus brothers wanted to create an area affordable to everyone to enjoy and so in 1915, when the area was declared an official city, they sold their park back to the city for the same price they had paid for it. The city kept the park and did not build on it, which is why we do not have high rise hotels along that stretch of Ocean Drive and enjoy direct beach access. The Lummus brothers helped preserve the area as it still exists today: a thriving neighborhood of small boutique hotels, apartments and restaurants.




The weekend event is held over three days and Ocean Drive is closed to traffic, allowing the visitors to walk along the street. The aim of the weekend is to draw visitors into the area to focus on the gorgeous architecture that the district preserves. The street is filled with street performers, vendors selling art work, jewelry and antiques and the restaurants put their tables out onto the street with special ‘Art Deco’ menus.

A street performer entertains the crowds




The weekend offers many events, such as historic guided walking tours, a film series, fashion shows, classic car shows, live music and a parade with the Miami Beach High marching band. Many of the local businesses and hotels support the events, and the area benefits greatly from the recognition the weekend brings.

Some vendors offer jewelry making classes for kids

Girl Scouts selling their cookies to the crowds


With all the fun things to see and do, Art Deco weekend is fun for everyone to attend. But if you missed it, you can always visit the Art Deco Welcome Center which is open daily at its new location on Ocean Drive. They offer the guided walking tour throughout the year and it is the information center for people visiting Miami Beach.



So on your next trip to Miami, make sure you visit the Art Deco area to gaze at the wonderfully preserved buildings. And here is an insider tip from me… Walk on the Lummus Park side of the street to get the magnificent full view of the Ocean Drive hotels. Enjoy!

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miami: Travel News, Miami: Things to Do,

A SoBe resident for 5 years, Jess’s writing focuses on healthy living in South Beach with a dose of British humor and a cheerful outlook on life in Miami. She can be found moderating the forum Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Jess.

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2 Comments on

"Review and Photos of Art Deco Weekend 2012"

Christy & the bunny says:

Excellent article Jess and great pics of the children enjoying the day! Art Deco weekend is a definite must if you’re coming into town with young children…the jewelry making classes look like fun! smile

Posted on 01/20/2012 at 4:48 PM

James Hardman says:

It seems like a fun-filled activity to be enjoyed by the entire family. I was really amused with that cowboy on an ostrich costumed man.

Posted on 01/20/2012 at 9:19 PM

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