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Millionaire’s Row, Miami Beach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul George, BT Contributor   
May 2019

A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami

SPix_PictureStory_5-19ince its incorporation in 1915, Miami Beach has been an alluring destination for visitors and residents alike. Many affluent visitors who couldn’t get enough of the island’s weather and waters decided to make it their winter home. Among them were leaders of industry, finance, and communications, the nouveau riche millionaires hailing primarily from the Midwest.

In the process of building winter homes on large lots and, in some cases, multiple lots, they created a Millionaires’ Row stretching from 44th Street to 59th Street along Collins Avenue, the community’s main street.

With the ocean at the rear of their properties, this enclave of homes, 41 in total, began taking shape in the 1910s and reached its completion by the late 1930s. Two significant properties anchored Millionaires’ Row: the Snowden estate (later owned by Harvey Firestone) on the south, and the exclusive Bath Club to the north.

The ostentatious homes that made up this exclusive community were designed by the most prominent South Florida architects of the era. Many were designed in the popular Mediterranean style, featuring barrel-tile roofs, arches, twisted columns, and balconies.

Residents of Millionaires Row included John D. Hertz, founder of his namesake car rental business as well as Yellow Cab; Albert Lasker, president of Lord, Thomas & Logan, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies; and transportation and newspaper tycoon Charles A. McCullough.

Millionaires Row was the venue for high-society parties, colorful lunches, and lavish receptions for special guests, including political dignitaries. But its abrupt demise followed World War II, as zoning changes in an increasingly more prosperous Miami Beach paved the way for new hotel construction along Millionaires’ Row, which had already lost many of its denizens through death.

By the mid-1950s, the Fontainebleau, Eden Roc, Montmartre, and other hotels took their places on the old Millionaires’ Row paving the way for a forest of hostelries not seen elsewhere, while ensuring the status of Miami Beach as America’s premier resort.

 

Paul George is historian at HistoryMiami Museum. To order a copy of this photo, contact HistoryMiami archives manager Ashley Trujillo at 305-375-1623, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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