Neron Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida


Miami Beach has been a showcase of modern architectural styles since the area experienced its first significant building boom in the early 1920s. Characterized by a less decorative, more industrial approach to the Art Deco style that had dominated modern design since 1925, the second phase of Art Deco architecture in the United States featured newer aesthetic trends, particularly Streamline Moderne. This phase reflected the changes in the economic fortunes of the nation as a whole, with less ostentatious flourishes and more distinct departures from older traditions. The style strongly influenced the explosion of Miami Beach commercial and private construction between 1929 and the beginning of World War II. The Neron Hotel stood on Drexel Avenue in the Art Deco District of Miami Beach, now recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as representing the largest concentration of Art Deco/Streamline Moderne structures in the United States. The Neron Hotel was a sleek, beautiful example built by architect Henry Hohauser in 1940. Hohauser trained at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, arriving in Florida in 1932, where he quickly became one of the most important architects in Miami Beach. In this 1978 photograph, the Neron is still relatively intact externally and exhibits many of the trademarks of Art Deco, including basic symmetry on the front elevation; a ziggurat or stepped roofline; the incorporation of simple, industrially-produced glass bricks as decorative elements; curved edges; eyebrow-like sculpted features; and neon lighting.

Last updated: October 17, 2011