Designed in 1935 by architect L. Murray Dixon, the Beach Plaza Hotel was completed with record speed and became a landmark from the moment it opened in 1936. Its dramatic setting on Collins Avenue and elegant Art Deco stying, together with its proximity to the famous beaches and nightclubs of the 30's and 40's, contributed to its appeal.
South Beach has always been an area that has catered to celebraties wishing to give the impression of achievement. Beach Plaza Hotel embodied all that to which South Beach aspired.
To attract a demanding clientele, the building incorporated the latest in both technology and design. There were modern conveniences, such as outlets in every bathroom for an electric shaver, and an elevator that started in the lobby and could transport you all the way to the sun deck. Windows were important, in order to take full advantage of the ocean views. Sometime in 2003, the Beach Plaza Hotel was fully renovated and the De Carlos Bar was added, staying true to the Art Deco period.
Most of the exterior surface is smooth concrete, the windows forming a pattern of vertical bands, which draw the eye upward and emphasize the height of the structure. Faceted windows accent the corners of the building. Above the street entrance and along the building's set-backs, plaster friezes express a tangle of images, some typical of Deco design.
Architecturally, the Beach Plaza Hotel represents the moment when South Beach, Art Deco, and the Big Band Era came together; their combined quallities produced elegance, sophistication and fantasy. It is considered to be an important Art Deco structure in South Beach, federally protected and preserved, and is listed with the Historical Preservation Society.
The public rooms feature exquisite copies of Island Deco furnishings and object d'art, as well as special pieces original to the period, including the original front desk, elevator and lobby staircase, as well as the original Terrazzo floors. Carpets were woven to order in India. The draperies were replicated from designs of the Art Deco era.