Essex House, Henry Hohauser, 1938
A writer, Barbara Capitman is credited to save South Beach from buldozers in the 70's. Where others saw eyesore in the delapidated buildings, she saw a real treasure. Most of the buildings were in the Art Deco style and dated to the 1930s and 40s. Leonard Horowitz, an industrial designer, seized on the idea of resurrecting the buildings with the genial use of pastel colours. Decaying, old hotels were restored and made to look better than ever. In 1979, as a result of the efforts of Mrs Capitman and others, Miami Beach's Art Deco District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The nautical motif is evident in the shape of the building as well as the portholes at the top. Streamlined curves, continuous eyebrows, decorative stripes, and a metal spire, illuminated by neon, all contribute to the dramatic effect of this hotel, thought to be one of the best works by its architect, Henry Hohauser.
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