Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. It was incorporated on March 26, 1915. Themunicipality is located on a series of natural and man-made barrier islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter of which separates the Beach from Miami city proper. The neighborhood of South Beach, comprising the southernmost 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) of Miami Beach, along with downtown Miami and the port, collectively form the commercial center of South Florida. As of the 2010 census, Miami Beach had a total population of 87,779. It has been one of America's pre-eminent beach resorts since the early 20th century.
In 1979, Miami Beach's Art Deco Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Art Deco District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world and comprises hundreds of hotels, apartments and other structures erected between 1923 and 1943. Mediterranean, Streamline Moderne and Art Deco are all represented in the District. The Historic District is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the East, Lenox Court on the West, 6th Street on the South and Dade Boulevard along the Collins Canal to the North. The movement to preserve the Art Deco District's architectural heritage was led by former interior designer Barbara Capitman, who now has a street in the District named in her honor.
|Miami Beach, Florida|
|City of Miami Beach|
Southern portion of Miami Beach with downtown Miami in background
|Nickname(s): The Beach|
Location in Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2011)|
In 1870, a father and son, Henry and Charles Lum, purchased the land for 25 cents an acre. The first structure to be built on this uninhabited oceanfront was the Biscayne House of Refuge, constructed in 1876 by the United States Life-Saving Service at approximately 72nd Street. Its purpose was to provide food, water, and a return to civilization for people who were shipwrecked. The next step in the development of the future Miami Beach was the planting of a coconut plantation along the shore in the 1880s by New Jersey entrepreneurs Ezra Osborn and Elnathan Field, but this was a failed venture. One of the investors in the project was agriculturist John S. Collins, who achieved success by buying out other partners and planting different crops, notably avocados, on the land that would later become Miami Beach. Meanwhile, across Biscayne Bay, the City of Miami was established in 1896 with the arrival of the railroad, and developed further as a port when the shipping channel of Government Cut was created in 1905, cutting off Fisher Island from the south end of the Miami Beach peninsula.
Collins' family members saw the potential in developing the beach as a resort. This effort got underway in the early years of the 20th century by the Collins/Pancoast family, the Lummus brothers (bankers from Miami), and Indianapolis entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher. Until then, the beach here was only the destination for day-trips by ferry from Miami, across the bay. By 1912, Collins and Pancoast were working together to clear the land, plant crops, supervise the construction of canals to get their avocado crop to market, and set up the Miami Beach Improvement Company. There were bath houses and food stands, but no hotel until Brown's Hotel was built in 1915 (still standing, at 112 Ocean Drive). Much of the interior land mass at that time was a tangled jungle of mangroves. Clearing it, deepening the channels and water bodies, and eliminating native growth almost everywhere in favor of land fill for development was a herculean effort.
With loans from the Lummus brothers, Collins had begun work on a 2½-mile long wooden bridge, the world's longest wooden bridge at the time, to connect the island to the mainland. When funds ran dry and construction work stalled, Indianapolis millionaire and recent Miami transplant Fisher intervened, providing the financing needed to complete the bridge the following year in return for a land swap deal. That transaction kicked off the island's first real estate boom. Fisher helped by organizing an annual speed boat regatta, and by promoting Miami Beach as an Atlantic City-style playground and winter retreat for the wealthy. By 1915, Lummus, Collins, Pancoast, and Fisher were all living in mansions on the island, three hotels and two bath houses had been erected, an aquarium built, and an 18-hole golf course landscaped.
The Town of Miami Beach was chartered on March 26, 1915; it grew to become a City in 1917. Even after the town was incorporated in 1915 under the name of Miami Beach, many visitors thought of the beach strip as Alton Beach, indicating just how well Fisher had advertised his interests there. The Lummus property was called Ocean Beach, with only the Collins interests previously referred to as Miami Beach.
Carl Fisher was the main promoter of Miami Beach's development in the 1920s as the site for wealthy industrialists from the north and Midwest to and build their winter homes here. Many other Northerners were targeted to vacation on the island. To accommodate the wealthy tourists, several grand hotels were built, among them: The Flamingo Hotel, The Fleetwood Hotel, The Floridian, The Nautilus, and the Roney Plaza Hotel. In the 1920s, Fisher and others created much of Miami Beach as landfill by dredging Biscayne Bay; this man-made territory includes Star, Palm, and Hibiscus Islands, the Sunset Islands, much of Normandy Isle, and all of the Venetian Islands except Belle Isle. The Miami Beach peninsula became an island in April 1925 when Haulover Cut was opened, connecting the ocean to the bay, north of present-day Bal Harbour. The great 1926 Miami hurricane put an end to this prosperous era of the Florida Boom, but in the 1930s Miami Beach still attracted tourists, and investors constructed the mostly small-scale, stucco hotels and rooming houses, for seasonal rental, that comprise much of the present "Art Deco" historic district.
|Miami Beach Demographics|
|2010 Census||Miami Beach||Miami-Dade County||Florida|
|Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010||-0.2%||+10.8%||+17.6%|
|Population density||11,511.1/sq mi||1,315.5/sq mi||350.6/sq mi|
|White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic)||87.4%||73.8%||75.0%|
|(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian)||40.5%||15.4%||57.9%|
|Black or African-American||4.4%||18.9%||16.0%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||53.0%||65.0%||22.5%|
|Native American or Native Alaskan||0.3%||0.2%||0.4%|
|Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian||0.1%||0.0%||0.1%|
|Two or more races (Multiracial)||2.7%||2.4%||2.5%|
|Some Other Race||3.2%||3.2%||3.6%|
As of 2010, there were 67,499 households out of which 30.1% were vacant. In 2000, 14.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.4% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.3% were non-families. 48.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was sixty-five years of age or older. The average household size was 1.87 and the average family size was 2.76.
In 2000, the city population was spread out with 13.4% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 38.2% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were sixty-five years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 105.0 males. For every 100 females age eighteen and over, there were 105.4 males.
In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $27,322, and the median income for a family was $33,440. Males had a median income of $33,964 versus $27,094 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,853. About 17.0% of families and 21.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 24.5% of those age sixty-five or over.
As of 2000, speakers of Spanish at home accounted for 54.90% of residents, while those who spoke exclusively English made up 32.76%. Speakers ofPortuguese were 3.38%, French 1.66%, German 1.12%, Italian 1.00%, and Russian 0.85% of the population. Due to the large Jewish community, Yiddishwas spoken at the home of 0.81% of the population, and Hebrew was the mother tongue of 0.75%.
As of 2000, Miami Beach had the 22nd highest concentration of Cuban residents in the United States, at 20.51% of the population. It had the 28th highest percentage of Colombian residents, at 4.40% of the city's population, and the 14th highest percentage of Brazilian residents, at 2.20% of the its population (tied with Hillside, New Jersey and Hudson, Massachusetts.) It also had the 27th largest concentration of Peruvian ancestry, at 1.85%, and the 27th highest percentage of people of Venezuelanheritage, at 1.79%. Miami Beach also has the 33rd highest concentration of Honduran ancestry at 1.21% and the 41st highest percentage of Nicaraguan residents, which made up 1.03% of the population.