Real Estate

Ten Iconic Miami Hotels That No Longer Stand

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The Senator
Location: 1200 block of Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Architect: L. Murray Dixon
Opened: 1939
Demolished: 1988


If the demolition of the New Yorker spurred efforts to save Miami Beach's art deco jewels, the 1988 destruction of the Senator (which was simply replaced by a parking lot) cemented them. The "Save Our Senator" battle was eventually lost, but its demolition led to tougher preservation laws.

The site sat as simply a parking lot for decades, but plans to build a new hotel with modern architecture inspired by the Senator are underway.


Hotel Halcyon
Location: Flagler Street and NE Second Avenue, Miami
Architect: Stanford White (probably)
Opened: 1903
Demolished: 1930
The Halcyon was Miami's second grand hotel during the city's early years, and is alleged to have been the only building in town designed by famed beaux-arts architect Stanford White. It was also Miami's second grand hotel to be destroyed. The site is now home to Alfred I. DuPont Building, which itself is a historic site.

The Flamingo
Location: 1500 block of Bay Road, Miami Beach
Architect: Price & McLanahan
Opened: 1921
Demolished: 1960
While one Miami Beach pioneer, John S. Collins, concentrate on the ocean side of the island, another, Carl Fisher, focused on the bay side. The Flamingo was his original foray into constructing an opulent hotel on the bay. He built a golf course next door and held speedboat races on the bay to entertain his guests. He also bought Rosie the Elephant, a baby elephant that served as a mascot for the beach, to help promote the resort.

Fisher even persuaded Warren G. Harding to stay at the Flamingo when the president made a trip to Miami. The stop was unplanned, but the Flamingo garnered national exposure because of it.

The building was demolished in 1960. The massive apartment complex on the site now is also known as the Flamingo.

The DuPont Plaza Hotel
Location: Former site of the Royal Palm, Miami
Opened: 1957
Demolished: 2004
The DuPont would rise on a portion of the land that was once home to the Royal Palm, and was a major part of downtown for decades. Though, its popularity ebbed and flowed with the fortunes of the city. Eventually, it was torn down, and the towering Epic stands in its place.

The Nautilus
Location: 43rd Street on the bay, Miami Beach
Architect: Schultze & Weaver
Opened: 1926
Demolished: 1968If you wanted to throw a memorable daytime party in 1920s Miami, the Nautilus Hotel was the place to host it. Another one of Carl Fisher's bayside resorts, the luxury hotel was famous for its tea dances. Schultze and Weaver designed the hotel in an X-shape so that every room commanded a view, and Fisher had two private islands made off of its shores for the private use of guests.

During World War II, the Nautilus was used as a military hospital, and it never returned to its hotel roots. It was eventually purchased by Mount Sinai Medical Center and demolished to make room for the hospital that stands there to this day.
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Kyle Munzenrieder