Miami Beach Hotel That Hosted the Beatles Is Demolished
A few years after Bob Dylan made his first visit to Miami Beach, the city was in the midst of one of the largest construction projects in its history.
The World’s Fair was taking place in Florida from April 17 to October 31, 1964, and the United States Government, in the midst of the Cold War, had decided to spend millions of dollars improving Miami Beach. The World’s Fair was being referred to as the ‘Greatest of Exhibitions’, and it was hoped that the event would help both the United States and the rest of the world, by bringing people of diverse nationalities together.
The largest single building on the site in the Downtown area was the Miami Beach Hotel. Opened in 1927, the hotel had, by the time of the World’s Fair, become the largest hotel in the United States, and it had just hosted the Beatles on their historic trip, on what is arguably the most important date in the history of pop music, which they are likely to ever perform, given that the hotel itself is now demolished.
The hotel was one of two that had been built by the Florida-based hotel-developer, Fairfield-Foley, in 1928. It had grown to be a popular tourist destination when it had hosted the world-famous Cocoanut Grove, which had been founded by Ernest Hemingway. The Hotel was owned by Miami’s real estate and construction magnate, A. Alfred Taubman, who built his fortune from real estate investments in Central Florida.
By the mid-1950s, the hotel was being used as an apartment building. For six months of every year, it was used by thousands of musicians seeking a place to stay in Miami to perform.
In 1957, the hotel was sold to an investment group for $1.5 million, and the group decided to restore the building and refurbish it by bringing in other renowned artists such as the painter William Wegman, and fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli. The original building would have to be razed. But in the end, they built not one, but two, and they added an enormous restaurant, with a bar and restaurant inside, and a swimming pool on the side.
In the 1980s, the hotel’s owner, A. Alfred Taubman, wanted to turn the property into a nightclub, and