The Art Deco architecture in South Beach represents rebirth in the 1930's after the tragic hurricane of 1926. Art Deco is an eclectic form of elegant and stylish modernism characterized by geometric and jumbled shapes. Nautical accents like railings and porthole windows are sometimes added. Aluminum, stainless steel, lacquer and inlaid wood are some of the materials used in Art Deco architecture.
Art Deco architecture can be appreciated in many of the hotels that line Ocean Drive. The Clevelander, the Congress Hotel, the Colony Hotel, the Hotel Victor, along with many other buildings that dot the South Beach skyline, are built in the Art Deco style. Although some of the earlier buildings such as the New Yorker Hotel were lost to developers before 1980, many others were preserved thanks to the efforts of a group of activists. The activists persevered to add South Beach to the National Register of Historic Places as a complete unit. To this day South Beach boasts the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world.
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