Arguably the most famous beach resort in all the United States, Miami Beach is a remarkable city located on the barrier islands that sit between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Along with downtown Miami and South Beach, Miami Beach forms the center of commercial activity for the area. Plus, it’s combination of remarkable art-deco architecture, the largest in the world, an incredible beach setting, and vibrant nightlife make it a place where many people want to live.
The natural barrier islands were first purchased by Henry Lum and his son, Charles back in 1870. The first structure, which existed near 72nd Street, was built as a refuge for shipwrecked sailors. The islands quickly became farmland producing most notably avocados until the turn of the 20th century when entrepreneurs saw the potential of the barrier islands as a tourist destination.
Over the next 30 years and bolstered by the land boom, the area which became Miami Beach underwent a remarkable transformation. Brown’s Hotel, built in 1915, still stands today at 112 Ocean Drive. The mass of jungle was turned into residential and commercial properties, and the barrier islands were greatly expanded by dredging operations to the size they are today.
You can find a myriad of architectural styles in homes ranging from the Mediterranean which dominated the 1930s and 1940s up to the sleek, modern designs of today. The emphasis is on luxury properties that offer stunning views of the ocean while providing deep water docks for those who love their boats. You can find single-family homes that sit near high-rise condominiums, providing modern amenities that emphasize the unique location of Miami Beach.
While the modern era is being embraced, so too is the history of Miami Beach as art-deco structures are being renovated and preserved, land is being repurposed, and new ideas incorporated into this historical setting.