"The Art Deco District in its entitety is a kind of architectural masterpiece ... an unparalleled streetscape that offers lesson to those seriously committed to a more human urban environment."
Art in America, 1981
The Art Deco District
The Miami South Beach Art Deco District consists of twenty blocks in a square mile that is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. This is the only location in the United States to be designated as such.
The architect, Henry Hohauser, came to Miami in 1932 at the age of 37 with a sophisticated architectural background. Hohauser was educated at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and worked in the large New York City office of his cousin, William Hohauser. He became an ardent follower of the modern movement and was stimulated by the opening in 1929 of the Museum of Modern Art, attending the exhibits of Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin, and van Gogh.
Hohauser was inspired by the fabulous Chrysler building and other skyscrapers in New York. He incorporated these impressions into the decorations for his Miami Beach buildings, which can be found at 850 Jefferson. He quickly became recognized as a distinguished architect.
An art walking deco tour is a pleasurable way to spend an afternoon on Miami's South Beach.