History of Miami Beach (Then & Now)

Thursday, October 24, 2013 | Art Deco District, Miami Beach Real Estate, Miami Miscellaneous, South Beach Real Estate | Posted by Sunny Isles Miami Beach Real Estate

Miami - Greetings

Miami Beach Then & Now

Thousands of years ago, the Tequesta Indians inhabited the land that is now Miami, Florida, and it was not until 1566 that the first Europeans came to the area. Pedro Menendez de Aviles claimed the land for Spain, and they quickly established a mission.

Many development sites have found the remains of these original Miami settlers. In 1821, the Spanish flag was lowered and the Stars and Stripes were raised over Florida. Enterprising ship wreckers from the Bahamas came to South Florida and the Keys in the early 19th Century, to hunt for the riches & remains of an international array of ill-fated shipwrecks that crashed onto the Great Florida reef. At about the same time, the Seminole Indians arrived along with a group of runaway slaves. The United States built Fort Dallas to use as a base while fighting the Second Seminole War from around 1835 to 1841. They fought to stay here in Florida, and the areas soon a war zone from 1836 to 1857, with most non-Indian residents being soldiers stationed on the Miami River at Fort Dallas. Some of the soldiers and a few frontier settlers gave Miami the beginning of a new foreign born population. At war’s end the majority of Indians were driven into the Everglades.

The area’s greatest changes came thanks to a visionary Cleveland, Ohio widow named Julia Tuttle who purchased 600 plus acres on the north bank of the Miami River in 1891, moving her family into the vacant and abandoned Fort Dallas buildings. Within four years, Tuttle, who was known as the “Mother of Miami” convinced the Standard Oil co-founder Henry Flagler to extend his railroad on into Miami, build a new luxury hotel and lay out a plan for this new town known as Miami. The railroad soon arrived and the City of Miami was incorporated on July 28 of 1896. At that time, it had a population of only 300 people! The city was starting to grow though, and it was growing rather quickly.  World War II brought another 100,000 residents to Miami Beach when the Army Air Corps and the navy established major military training centers. Many of these servicemen made Miami their permanent homes after the war. By the end of the 1950’s, South Florida had then doubled its population.

Greater Miami never lacked in fast forward thinkers including John Collins (from New Jersey) and Carl Fisher, who together in 1913 embarked on an agriculture venture on a small area of oceanfront beach and started a bridge across the bay. John Collins constructed a rickety wooden toll bridge known to be the longest in the world. It would be the first connection of Miami to Miami Beach. In 1925 the Biscayne Bay Improvement Company bought the bridge from Collins and replaced it with the Venetian Way, a series of arched bridges linking a chain of five islands plus the already existing Bull’s Island (renamed Belle Isle) to the Beach. And so Rivo Alto, San Marino, San Marco, DiLido, and Biscayne Island referred to as the Venetian Islands were born. Once the Venetian Causeway was complete, the isles became an even more fashionable place to spend the winter for rich northerners, exactly the people that Miami Beach co-founder Carl Fisher of Fisher Island hoped to attract. From there they could be endlessly entertained thanks to showman Fisher’s public relations stunts. He introduced manned gondolas to float around the waters, and he coaxed boating mogul & competitor Gar Wood to stage speedboat races in the bay. Part of the oldest remaining causeway in South Florida, the 85+ year old Venetian is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. These days it spans the city of Miami at 15th Street to the city of Miami Beach at Dade Boulevard.

Miami Beach Real Estate

“The Beach” was big from the turn of the century all the way through 1925 when the market started to weaken. A hurricane followed a year later, and then the Great Depression took some of the steam out of Miami during the 1930’s. After World War II, the growth of Miami started again. Miami Beach FL was then born. Nicknamed “The Magic City” and the “Gateway to Latin America”, Miami is the 44th most populous city in the U.S. Stretching ten miles distance, these connected islands, which were named the “Sun and Fun Capital of the World” by Jackie Gleason, are separated from Miami by a 3 mile expanse of the shimmering waters of the Biscayne Bay. Since the early days of the Honeymooners and “away we go,” this Atlantic coastline community has undergone a “sand lift” which restored this land of paradise to its tropical glory and caused another major development boom since the 80’s.

The famous Art Deco Historic District features streamlined modern architecture as well as Art Deco styles in the one square mile vicinity that contains these famous treasures. Miami Beach, known for its Millionaire’s Row, burst onto the International scene in the 1990’s spanning Collins Avenue from 44th to 59th Street and was known as ‘Miami’ to the world. The affluent & celebrity corridor represented the Billion dollar sandbar on postcards, magazine covers and travel posters all through the 1950’s and 60’s. Its movie set resorts played host to all the big stars of the postwar period from Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley to Lucy Ricardo. By the late 1960s, however, the bloom was off the rose. Millionaire’s Row became a symbol of over development on the Florida coast, and its retirees denizens became the butt of national jokes.

Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1959 and no one dreamed that this revolution would change Miami as much as Cuba did. Many Cubans came to Miami to escape Castro’s regime. The Cuban exiles were now just beginning to pour into the area bringing the next Miami with them. The 1960’s to the 80’s brought mind blowing change as more than a half million Cuban exiles fled to Miami to start a new life. These innovative refugees launched this area into its future as what many call the “Capital of the Americas.” The greatest influence leading the city’s modern day personality & diversity came with the arrival of Cuban refugees that began in the late 1960’s. They settled in an area dubbed as Little Havana, where salsa music blasts, men play dominoes in the park and breezes carry robust whiffs of café con leche. Miami´s overall cuisine and arts scene swing Cuban, blended with other Caribbean influences. The city has seen its vicissitudes, from natural disasters to political strife, but things really began looking up in Miami, despite the economic debacles.

The 1980’s and early 90’s brought a multi-billion dollar cocktail of investment capital that produced a modernized transportation infrastructure, an amazing new Miami downtown skyline, a rebirth of Miami Beach and a new way of life for residents that features the culture, arts, sports and entertainment all with an international accent. Although it has changed way beyond recognition, Miami Beach has thrived among the changes and overcome many difficulties. Along the beach, the sunlight gives way to an array of neon lights with Miami Beach´s renowned nightlife. For decades South Beach has been a favorite social scene for A-list celebrities, as rooftop lounges at boutique hotels offer plush sofas and savory martinis, while nightclubs promise late nights with music from international DJs.

In the 2000’s, this City started to embrace its new identity as a cosmopolitan city full of fun & life. Luxurious high-rise buildings, aggressive new developments, Art centers and the influx of new people into the area from every walk of life have all helped to make Miami the happening place to be and an amazing place to live. Part of the appeal of Miami Beach is due to the celebrity influx into the city with actors, movies and TV shows portraying Miami as the ultimate playground. The wealthy and the famous love to party in the city which helped make it more attractive to the younger crowds in recent years. Every playground has its sandbox and Miami Beach boasts a seven mile oceanfront sand box bordered by the bright blue Atlantic Ocean waters perfect for beach volleyball, kite boarding, snorkeling, jet skiing, boating and soaking up the Florida sun.

South Beach

It will always be the first location tourists think of when considering Miami, new areas have become ever so popular such as Sunny Isles Beach incorporated in 1997 and resting on the Northern shoreline of Miami Dade County. Russia, Latin America, Canada, France, Asia along with U.S. snowbirds come to enjoy this family friendly location offering parks, great restaurants and incredible shopping destinations. To its east is the great Atlantic Ocean and to the west is the Intracoastal Waterways. The tiny enclave of Golden Beach is to the north and Haulover Park is to the south. The City is midway between Miami & Fort Lauderdale and offers easy access to Miami International, Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood International Airports.

Miami Beach 1921

The history of Miami is still being written. It’s a great time to come to the Magic City and become a part of it!

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South Pointe (SoBe) to Sunny Isles Beach

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | 1500 Ocean, 6000 Indian Creek, Acqualina, Akoya, Apogee, Art Deco District, Bal Harbour Condos, Bal Harbour Real Estate, Bath Club, Canyon Ranch, Continuum, Il Villaggio, Jade Beach, Jade Ocean, MEi, Miami Beach Condos, Miami Beach Real Estate, Miami Miscellaneous, Murano at Portofino, Murano Grande, One Bal Harbour, South Beach Condos, South Beach Real Estate, St. Regis Resort, Sunny Isles Beach Condos, Sunny Isles Beach Real Estate, Trump Palace, Trump Royale, Turnberry Ocean Colony | Posted by Sunny Isles Miami Beach Real Estate

Florida_South_VendorsIncredible Enjoyment in South Florida. Miami Beach, home to some of the world’s most amazing stretches of white sand beach, crystalline waters and incredible relaxation, has long been the ideal spot for visitors.  Of course, Miami Beach is made up of quite a wide range of neighborhoods spread out like pearls on a string.  In this case, A1A, or Collins Avenue is the string and the pearls offer visitors and residents almost any form of rest, relaxation or enjoyment they might want.  From the beauty of South Pointe to the refinement of Sunny Isles Beach, a visitor to the area will discover an immensity of dazzling enjoyment.

The tour starts at the tip of Miami Beach, in the South Beach neighborhood, 1st Street, near South Pointe Park.  South Beach was once a languishing relic of a bygone era, but renewed interest from developers, consumers, tourists and those dedicated to saving the amazing Art Deco area changed all that back in the early 1980’s.  Today, South Beach stands at the heart of Miami Beach’s famed culture and plays host to some of the most amazing nightlife, shopping, dining and relaxation in the world.  Obviously, South Beach real estate is a worthwhile investment, whether you purchase in the famed Art Deco District or venture into a luxury condo of SoFi (South of Fifth).  South Beach is much more than a hideaway for hedonists or a place where celebrities congregate. It’s a way of living not found anywhere else in the world.

Take a stroll out of South Pointe Park heading North, the cross streets run numerically and you’ll find Washington Avenue as a main street running parallel to Collins Avenue, as well as Alton Road and South Pointe Drive bisecting the area furthest South.  A short stroll up Ocean Drive will show you to Prime 112 (a local celebrity restaurant), while South Beach’s Lummus Park is only 2 blocks up the coast spanning 12 blocks along Ocean Drive.  North on Ocean Drive past Fifth Street, you will find News Café, as well as Mango’s Tropical Café and the amazing stretch of Lummus Park, where you can waste away the entire day and enjoy the tropical environment & beautiful beaches. For a day of recreation, check out the 7 mile Lummus Park bordering the pristine waters and sands of the Atlantic Ocean.  This immense park is home to an incredible diversity of oceanfront enjoyment options and connects tourists & visitors alike to the white sandy beaches at Ocean Drive from 5th to 15th Streets.  The Miami Beach Golf Club is also justly famed with those who enjoy hitting the links. South Beach condos dot the area, as it has become home to some very luxurious modern condo developments over the past decade including Il Villaggio, 1500 OceanContinuum, ApogeeMurano Grande, Portofino Tower and more.

South Beach is home to much more than beaches and South Beach condos, though.  Of course, Miami Beach is justly famed as being home to some of the area’s most historic architecture & monuments to tropical indulgence and relaxation.  It’s also home to an incredible nightlife, which regularly draws visitors from around the globe.  You can stroll the city streets beneath the fantastic Art Deco architecture, and enjoy the scents and sounds of the clubs and restaurants coming alive around you.  Twenty-Four hour entertainment is close at hand, as the streets of Ocean Drive are often dotted with musicians playing bongos, guitars and singing the night away here in the heart of a tropical paradise. Once the sun drops below the Downtown Miami skyline to the west, the area truly comes alive and explodes in entertainment as the sun dips below the western horizon.  You can wind down each day by enjoying Miami Beach’s famed nightlife, which boasts open-roof lounges, corner musicians, celebrity nightclubs, international DJs and much more provide you with any type of excursion you might want after the sun sets.

For this reason, Miami Beach has become an incredible melting pot of cultures, with several different languages floating on the air at any given point in time.  The area boasts a very strong European influence, legacy of the jetsetters visiting the area, as well as a strong European community of expatriates.  Visitors will also find a strong Cuban flavor in the area with a large population of foreign “locals”.

Miami Beach real estate offers proximity to some of the best options for enjoyment in the world, whether you love the beach, dining, shopping or just indulging in people watching.  The area is home to the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum, where visitors can get a unique glimpse of modern history.  The Jewish Museum of Florida is also located here.  Art Basel Miami Beach, however, remains one of the strongest draws to visitors and local alike, offering an art-fair atmosphere in tropical luxury along with the Miami Beach International Boat Show & Strictly Sail, Art Deco weekend and so many other great attractions. Miami Beach condos also put you in close proximity to the Art Deco Colony Theater over on Lincoln Road, as well as the Byron Carlyle for dance and theatrical performances.  Fillmore Miami Beach, the Jackie Gleason Theater, the Holocaust Memorial and the “Arts in Public Places” program are also top attractions.  Those in need of something to eat will find an immensity of options, such as Joe’s Stone Crab, China Grill, Evolution (within the Ritz-Carlton) and the area’s Wine and Food Festival held each year.

Retail therapy for the shopaholic is likewise popular with the shopping district of Collins Avenue offering shopping just off the beach, while designer names like Nicole Miller, Club Monaco, Armani Exchange, Kenneth Cole and Ralph Lauren are also found in plenty.  Those who prefer boutique shopping in an outdoor environment will not suffer for options, as Lincoln Road has become a shoppers’ playground, where almost anything with a price tag can be bought or sold.

A short jaunt north of South Beach brings us to Miami Beach or mid-beach, also known as Millionaire’s Row (Concrete Canyon) where luxury towers were built in the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s bringing the celebrity demand to Miami Beach along with new condo towers from the last 5 years including Bath Club, MEi, 6000 Indian Creek, Canyon Ranch and Akoya.  Miami Beach is one of the hottest areas abutting Miami’s mainland and occupies a relatively large footprint on this delightful barrier island.  With the Biscayne Bay Intracoastal Waterway to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Miami Beach is bounded by South Beach to the south and Bal Harbour & Sunny Isles Beach to the north encompassing Miami Dade County “beaches”.

North of Miami Beach, you’ll find the famous location of Bal Harbour (92nd-102nd Streets).  Bal Harbour real estateputs you in the immediate vicinity of the Shops at Bal Harbour.  This ultra-luxury area plays host quite regularly to some of the world’s most noted celebrity hangouts & shopping, as well as the most desirable St. Regis Resort & Spaand One Bal Harbour condos catering to the rich and famous. Dining at Carpaccio, enjoying the Bal Harbour Shops and, of course, the incredible azure waters of the Atlantic are paramount attractions near Bal Harbour condos and you will find that the area is simply stunning, whether you want to relax on the beach in seclusion, or take advantage of the area’s incredible retail options. Collins Avenue (A1A) is the area’s main thoroughfare, which connects Bal Harbour with Sunny Isles Beach to the north and Surfside & Miami Beach to the south.

North of Bal Harbour (159th-192nd Streets) lies the amazing area known as Sunny Isles Beach.  To reach Sunny Isles Beach from Bal Harbour or Miami Beach, simply follow Collins Avenue (A1A) heading north.  This will actually continue up the main barrier island on which Miami Beach is situated.  In addition, you’ll find that this is the same direction you must travel if you wish to reach the Haulover Beach Park & Marina. Within Sunny Isles Beach, you will find an incredible number of options for rest and relaxation, as well as for shopping, dining and beach combing.  Sunny Isles Beach real estate is some of the most sought after in the area and includes uber-luxury condo towers such as Turnberry Ocean Colony, Jade Beach, Jade Ocean, Acqualina, Trump Palace, Trump Royale as well as Trump International Beach Resort and many more.

For recreation, whether shopping or simply enjoying the warm sunshine, the newly christened Newport Hotel & Fishing Pier is an excellent option.  This used to be Sunny Isles Fishing Pier, and is still home to tremendous fishing options, as well as being a great place for sightseeing and R&R. One of the most beneficial aspects of purchasing Sunny Isles Beach condos is the fact that they put you in easy proximity of destinations like Downtown Miami, Miami Beach, Golden Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Bal Harbour and of course, South Beach.  A short drive will take you to each of these destinations in just minutes; thus, the city is one of the most centered locations for visitors to the area, as well as for long-term residents wanting a reserved atmosphere.

Sunny Isles Beach is justly famed for the number of luxury residential accommodations.  However, its true claim to fame is the 2 mile stretch of pristine beachfront, lapped by the pure waters of the Atlantic Ocean.  Here, you will find anything you might wish to do, whether you favor snorkeling, scuba diving, walking on the beach with that special someone, or simply lounging the day away, serenaded by the sound of the waves caressing the shoreline. Sunny Isles Beach is also home to a restored and reinvigorated park area.  With their reenergized approach to development, the area is “going back to its roots” and visitors (as well as residents) are applauding the new park projects.  Dining options also abound, both on the oceanfront condo strip and in areas along Collins Avenue on the west in many of the shopping plazas.  The Porterhouse Bar & Grill, Tony Roma’s, Jalisco’s, La Terrazza, as well as Christine Lee’s are good choices for dining, while those who prefer retail therapy will find a host of shopping options on Collins Avenue, particularly in the town center where boutique properties proliferate.

Heading North through Sunny Isles Beach..

And then back to South Beach..

From South Pointe in South Beach Miami, through the heart of Miami Beach, to Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles Beach, this incredible stretch of South Florida paradise provides residents and visitors with anything they could possibly want, from luxury real estate to delightful shopping, dining and recreation. Come and play or call for more information 1.888.383.7326!

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