Legendary Fontainebleau Hotel Voted Best Building in Florida
by Sep Niakan | April 23, 2012
The Fontainebleau on Miami Beach was the stuff legends are made of, and yet, like many a genius, it was mocked and underestimated in its era, for a lack of appreciation of its obvious ingenuity in design. A mammoth structure, envisioned by architect Morris Lapidus, brought to life in the year 1954, this extravagant hotel finally receives a title befitting of its legendary status.
The iconic Fontainebleau of Miami Beach has been voted the best building in Florida after a month-long, public competition conducted by the Floridian chapter of the American Institute of Architects. With a whopping 2.4 million votes behind its win, the Fontainebleau left behind 99 other entries on the list inclusive of bigwigs such as Mar-a-Lago (no. 5), The Breakers Resort (no. 7), and Fort Lauderdale (no. 9). The crowning ceremony of the hotel took place poolside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Millionaire Row’s darling, the Fontainebleau, Miami Beach dared to break away from the stronghold of the prevalent International Style in its era, to include a curvilinear design complete with luxurious adornments and a signature bow-tie patterned floor that together make up the modern-meets-baroque work of art we are familiar with. Crowned a national architectural milestone, the Fontainebleau can be said to have restored expressiveness to modern architecture, inspiring design elements for many other Miami Beach condos.
After its 2008 renovations, the hotel not only preserved elements of its glamorous past, but also geared up with facilities for the modern-day discerning traveler. The Fontainebleau on Miami Beach still holds on to its most iconic mementos including the mysterious ‘Staircase to Nowhere’, signature bow-tie marble flooring, striking gold-tiled columns and walls as well as other dramatic features from its original plan. In the famous words of its bold architect, this iconic hotel still makes sure that it retains the same elements from its past, which were meant to create a shock and awe effect where people just “walk in and drop dead”.
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