Art Deco Weekend celebrates Miami Beach’s Deco glory

What would Miami Beach look like were it not for the efforts of the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL)? We can only guess what kind of ’80s architectural monstrosities we avoided by declaring our Art Deco buildings off limits for developers who would do away with them. The result has been the unique and beautifully-maintained streetscape of boutique hotels, shops and restaurants we have come to take for granted in South Beach. This weekend, the MDPL makes us reflect on the era that gave birth to some of the architectural gems that we pass every day with its annual Art Deco Weekend, taking place from Friday to Sunday on Ocean Drive. Here are the highlights:

Fun and games

What was it like to be an Art Deco kid? For one thing, paper dolls were all the rage. Board games taught you how to be high-stakes real estate speculators (Parker Brother dropped Monopoly in 1935, right in the midst of the Great Depression). Die-cast toy motorcycles and rockets helped kids to play out the plots from their favorite comic strips. Some of the toys that children of the Art Deco period coveted will be on display at an exhibit at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Drive).

Deco Films

Nothing captures the Art Deco era like a long strand of pearls and a bob. You’ll see plenty of both at the screenings of “Chicago” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rene Zellweger on Friday and “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Saturday at Lummus Park (11th Street & Ocean Drive.) A treat for the Deco lovers-in-training is the Kid-at-Heart film series with “Little Rascals,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Annie” screening Sunday at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Drive).

Antique Experience

The retirees aren’t the only antiques on the beach. Art Deco Weekend will erect huge tents on 11th Street and Ocean Drive to create a marketplace for vintage furniture, clothing and accessories called the Antique Experience. The Original Miami Beach Antique Show, which takes places Jan. 30-Feb. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, will be displaying a sample of its wares along with Modernism Gallery and many other purveyors of fine antiques. Still wondering what you could get for grandma’s fine china? From noon-4 p.m. Sunday antique appraiser Jennifer Bird will be offering appraisals of up to three different items per person for $5, the funds going to the MDPL’s ongoing advocacy efforts.

Live Music

For live music head to the stage at 10th Street and Ocean Drive, just south of the Art Deco Welcome Center. Catch acts like Sarah Jane & The Blue Notes on Friday, Allan Harris/Doug Wimbish and the All Star Deco band on Saturday and Latin funk outfit Suenalo on Sunday.

Art Deco Tours

Learn a thing or two about Art Deco design, delve into Miami Beach’s sordid history of scandal, drink your way across town, learn about the Gay & Lesbian community or sit in a coach and get chauffered about while learning about the history of Miami Beach on one of the many tours available this weekend. The tour booth is located at 10th and Ocean Drive.

Arf Deco

Dogs can get in on the Art Deco action as well at the Arf Deco Parade on Sunday at 11 a.m. taking place on the Serpentine Walkway between 6th and 13th Streets by Lummus Park. Dogs can get dolled up and compete in the costume contest, enjoy treats, games and the doggy photo booth. The Humane Society will be on site to introduce some its furry friends in need of homes from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Classic Cars

Saturday morning at 10 a.m. watch as classic cars and motorcycles from the early 1900s up to 1986 roll out courtesy of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Witness the evolution of engineering as these incredibly maintained vehicles parade down Deco Drive. The cars will then be displayed between 5th and 8th Streets.


Art Deco Weekend

Friday, noon-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Ocean Drive between Fifth and Fifteenth Streets, Miami Beach


Source : Amy Reyes