The History Of Luxury Homes In Miami BeachFebruary 16, 2017
Miami Beach today is a fusion of tropical energy, celebrities, high art, foreign luxury cars, all-night parties, and million-dollar real estate. But many newcomers are surprised to learn about its very humble beginnings.In 1870, what is now nightclubs and high-rise condo buildings was just a spit of sand covered in mangroves. It was bought for 25 cents an acre by Henry Lum and his son Charles, who tried to turn it into a coconut farm. Unfortunately for them, rats (or rabbits? or both?) ate all of the coconuts and left the two with nothing to show for their investment. That’s when John Collins bought the area. He was a little more successful in the agriculture department, but not by much. It wasn’t until he partnered with Carl Fisher and cleared out the mangroves that things started to change. They had big dreams of a glamorous city, fame, and, of course, lots and lots of money. But how to lure people to visit a remote sandbar?
Carl was inventive. As a gimmick, he hired an unusual golf caddy named Rosie to appear alongside President-elect Warren Harding on the golf course in 1921, and the media went crazy snapping pictures of the two of them. Seeing Rosie and the president together is one of the great media coups of the 20th century, and it changed the future of Miami Beach. Rosie, you see, was a baby elephant. The stunt worked and population boomed in the mid ‘20s as contractors and architects flocked to the city to leave their mark on the build landscape.
There was a downturn in the 1930s as the region was hit by a round of hurricanes, the Great Depression and bad press about shady real estate deals. But that was also the decade during which famous architects like Lawrence Murray Dixon and Albert Anis began erecting the art deco buildings that would become a U.S. historic district in 1979.
Miami Beach came back around in the ‘40s when hotels started springing up all along the Atlantic coast. It was known as America’s Playground, where people came to spend their money and to see and be seen. It became the hottest place in the country to see revolutionary architecture, to shop the most upscale stores and boutiques, to eat the most decadent cuisine, and experience art and music at a whole new level. It became a place where the wealthy and successful people of the world came to live, and they were able to build and buy luxury real estate with ease. This was the period of historical landmarks like the Delano and the Fontainebleau hotels.
Miami Beach became more than just a beach. It went from being a small town of mangroves and coconuts to a globally influential city that today brings in millions of people each year.
It may seem like new condominium buildings and waterfront estates are popping up everywhere on Miami Beach, and that is because they are. However, there are some historical, long-standing properties in Miami Beach that have stood the test of time, and have been a part of Miami’s rich history. One is 5757 Alton Road, which overlooks the golf course. It’s a five-bedroom home built in the mid-1930s, and it has retained its charm and personality over the years while undergoing recent renovations and upgrades to appeal to modern families. This private home gives off a true “beach house” feel and has a personality of its own.
The home at 5050 N. Bay Road in Miami Beach was also built in the ‘30s and has a whole different attitude. With over 8,000 square feet of living space, this waterfront property has a long driveway, four spacious bedrooms, a media room, private pool, dock, cabana, and summer kitchen. The timeless property is dotted with shady palm trees. Owning one of these luxury Miami Beach homes is like owning a piece of Miami Beach history.
The gorgeous beaches, the beautiful people, the amazing weather, the jaw-dropping real estate and the rich culture and history that is woven throughout the city are the things that make Miami Beach unique in the world. They even set Miami Beach apart from the rest of South Florida. If you’re the kind who always roots for the underdog, you’ll love the story of Miami Beach. It was a swampy, sad piece of land, and then a few people believed in its potential. With a lot of hard work, they helped transform it into the incredible and vibrant city it is today.