Only the vertical blade was totally familiar to Deco fans. Advertising the name of the hotel in neon letters, Miami's blades could have been taken straight from London cinemas.
Also the city utilised pastel colours not found in Melbourne, Napier and other cities with many Deco buildings. Tropicalism unified the Miami "version" of deco with unique nautical themes, tropical floral and fauna motifs, ocean liners, ship port holes, palm trees and flamingos.
Andrew Wood noted in his Miami Deco blog that by the 1970s, these architectural relics had been reduced to flop houses for winos and seedy last chances for elderlies looking for winter warmth. So how close to the original 1930s buildings are the renovated buildings? Certainly the colour scheme debate still rages, according to Andy.
Martin Belam, when touring Miami's Art Deco district, was more definitive. The original colour schemes of Miami’s buildings in the 1930s would have been white, grey, black and beige. The tropical pastel schemes were originated by a designer called Leonard Horowitz as part of the late 1970s drive to preserve the buildings. See the pastel lemon and creamy orange on the facade of Winter Haven Hotel, for example, which fits right into our time frame: it was designed by Albert A. Anis in 1939. The Majestic Hotel, by the same architect, was only marginly later: 1941.
Sometimes the colours were not pastel at all. Art Deco Buildings showed that the Hotel Clifton was white, as you would expect, but with deep oceanic blue stripes vertically and horizontally. So did the Breakwater and Century Hotels depicted here.
Ocean Drive runs along the shore of South Beach, and although it is a major boulevard in Miami Beach, the Deco hotels were not destroyed in favour of heartless, faceless, modern multinationals. And the Miami Design Preservation League's administrative offices are perfectly located in the Art Deco Welcome Centre in Ocean Drive. In particular, the Miami Design Preservation League sponsors the Art Deco Weekend Festival each year, celebrating the Deco era with tours, lectures and films. I love the idea of presenting public programmes that can explore the influence of inter-war modernity on cinemas, hotels and homes in the area.
Collins Avenue inland is also now famous for the Art Deco architecture. Visit Lucy Jones' blog, Art Deco in Miami Beach for the video which is called Saving Art Deco.