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Miami, The City That Commits Architectural Suicide  .  .



Long, long ago, in a county named Dade, in a state named Florida there existed a sometimes sleepy small southern city that boasted some remarkable architecture. Some of it still exists, but much of it has been torn down. Take a browse here through my modest collection of old Miami post cards and you will see what has been wasted.
"The Boulevard" (old timers never say Biscayne Boulevard) looked like this right into the 1980's.
Miami's Paramount Theater became a shopping arcade in the 1970's. The First Presbyterian Church across the street is long gone and off to the distance is the Halcyon Hotel, made rubble in 1930! I only recognize two buildings in this scene that have survived, the Olympia Building and the County Courthouse. Please tell me I am wrong.
Made rubble in 1930 for the construction of the Alfred Irenee du Pont Building, the debris was used to embank the shoreline at Alice Wainwright Park on Brickell Avenue.
The Halcyon Hotel was replaced by the Alfred Irenee DuPont Building. The building long served as the Miami headquarters of the Florida National Bank. Still decked out in her original marble and ornate brasswork, she now serves a diverse group of tenants. The building is being carefully restored by private individuals. Bravo! Looks like we'll have her around to enjoy!
A view from the Royal Palm Hotel looking northwest to where we now have downtown Miami. You can see the red tile roofs of the Halcyon Hotel which was at the corner of Northeast Second Avenue and Flagler Street. The church is First Presbyterian, located at East Flagler Third Avenue, it was knocked down in the forties.  The Royal Palm occupied the spot where we now have the DuPont Plaza Hotel. Note the large park - it is now parking lots and the site of  the Financial Center Building.
Looking north from Flagler Street up what is now Northeast Second Avenue. When this picture was taken it was Avenue "B".
Here we have the Hotel Urmey at 34 SE Second Avenue. Now known as the American Business Center, the old girl has survived from 1917, but the years and 1970's era renovations have taken their toll. Note the profusion of trees in this vintage shot.
The first luxury hotel in Miami was the Florida East Coast Railway's Royal Palm. Located where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay, she was demolished in 1930. The DuPont Plaza Hotel now occupies the site.
The Royal Palm's Swimming Pool
The McAllister Hotel was Miami's first "skyscraper". She stood at the corner of Flagler and Biscayne Boulevard from about 1913 until the early eighties. Al Capone was arrested on the sidewalk in front of the hotel and Luciano Pavarotti practiced singing on the roof of the hotel when he was beginning his career in the sixties. There is now a strip mall on this busy corner.
The original Roney Plaza Hotel, situated on the Atlantic facing Lake Pancoast, was knocked down in the 1960's to make room for the present Roney Plaza. Marble floors, gold plated bathroom fixtures and a poured concrete tower could not save the old girl from the need for something newer and brighter. Now the "new" Roney is just another Collins Avenue frump showing her "International"  1960's style and her age.
The Villa D'Este was situated on The Boulevard at Northeast Eighth Street. Coming north on The Boulevard her colonnaded facade was hard to miss all the way into the 1970's. I think there's a vacant lot where she stood.
The Flamingo Hotel sat where the Morton Towers Apartments now sits on the Beach. It was there until the 1960's.
Another Miami Beach beauty, the Pancoast Hotel was where the Seville Hotel now stands at 29th and Collins. Can you imagine the popularity of this place were it extant?
Now the site of Mount Sinai Hospital, the old Nautilus lends its name to Nautilus Drive and Nautilus Elementary School, but the hotel is gone.
The Lighthouse Restaurant was at the southeastern most corner of Haulover Park. Really it burned down in the 1960's. You can still find part of the foundation.
At The Boulevard and Third Street, the Columbus Hotel with its famed Top o'The Columbus Restaurant survived into the late '80's. There's a strip mall there now.
A Peaceful Northeast First Avenue with Trees No Less!
Smith's Casino Near 22nd Street and the Ocean

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