Miami Beach, Florida is a man-made island that host a huge vacationing resort area since the early 20th century. In its humble beginnings Miami Beach was a 165 acre plot of land that was designated for planting and harvesting coconuts. Quakers from New Jersey, Henry and Charles Lum bought the land from the federal government for $.25 an acre.
This farming venture took a different turn when the harvesting was not successful. In 1913 the beachfront venture began with a bridge built from Miami to Miami Beach at the time it was the longest bridge in the world.
In 1915, 100 years ago Miami Beach was incorporated as a city by 33 registered voters of the area. After Mayor Lummus sold his oceanfront property for 6th street to 14th street for $40,000 the area became a public beach and park named Lummus Park. Next the Lummus brothers gave a free lot to anyone who will build their home on the land.
One of the famous historical features of the area is the Art Deco District which is better known as “South Beach”. This area houses the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world. There are hundreds of apartments, hotels and other buildings built here from 1923 to 1943. It is a live work of art
.A major shift in population happened in 1959 when almost half a million Cubans flooded into the area. Again in the 80s and 90s big investors poured capital into Miami Beach and the city has thrived to become the international travel destination it is today.
During the 20s massive growth took place. Mansions were built in an area called “Millionaire’s Row” These mansions erected over a three-mile stretch. This was a time when Miami Beach, Florida enjoyed sophisticated, extravagant living. During the great depression investors built small hotels along an area. Today that area is the historic Art Deco District.
In 1979 the Miami Beach, Florida Art Deco District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the world’s largest conglomeration of hotels, apartments and structures. Truly a work of art to behold. Since Miami Beach, Florida is a ‘man-made’ island the city must bring in sand to fill its beaches.
Miami Beach went through two world wars and felt the devastation of Hurricane Andrew resulting in $30 billion dollars in damages. These enormous economic challenges bruised Miami Beach, but did not destroy it. Today it continues to be one a leading resort attraction.