Art Deco Architecture Styles
Art Deco is known for the extravagant buildings that sprang up in every big city in the 1920s. Miami Beach’s boom came during the 2nd phase of Art Deco, Streamline Moderne. It was less decorative, a reflection of the Great Depression. Architects used local imagery to create “Tropical Deco.” These buildings feature relief ornamentation with flora, fauna and ocean-liner motifs. Look for symmetry, ziggurat rooflines, decorative panels, eyebrows, porthole windows, terrazzo, curves, elements in groups of 3, & neon.
The MiMo (Miami Modern) Style of design became popular the 1950s. Eyebrows gave way to metal louvers and sun shades, tiled mosaic walls became a popular feature as did open balconies and catwalks. A Miami Beach variant, the Garden Style, features apartments that are accessed through open-air walkways built around a central garden. Look for asymmetry and rakish angles, cheese hole cutouts, kidney and amoeba shapes, futuristic jet and space age forms, mosaic murals, anodized aluminum in gold and copper.
Mediterranean Revival buildings evoke an Old World image, featuring decorative columns, arched windows, clay barrel tile roofs, rough stucco walls, wrought iron and spindle gates guarding picturesque courtyards. These buildings are a whimsical interpretation of the old world, combining elements from differing Mediterranean styles resulting in a “fantasy” architecture. Look for bell towers, archways, awnings, porches, balconies, carved stonework, rough stucco walls, clay tiles roofs, wrought iron fixtures.