Miami Beach is an American city that is situated in the Florida county of Miami Dade. It covers an area of nineteen square miles and has a population of over eighty-seven thousand resident. It is situated on the barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay and is separated from Miami by the bay. This city can trace its history back to the nineteenth century when Henry Lum arrived to the southeast Florida sandbar by sailboat and became impressed by the area. He was so taken by the island that he decided to buy it from the federal government for twenty-five cents an acre. Later on he would sell the property to Elnathan Field and Ezra Osborne, and they then sold it to John S. Collins. Collins secured a loan and built a bridge to connect the island to the city of Miami. Two years later, in 1915, Miami Beach was incorporated as a city.
In 1979, the Art Deco Historic District made it to the list of the National Register of Historic Places. This district contains the highest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the entire world and contains hundreds of apartment buildings, hotels and other since structures that were built between 1923 and 1942. Since the district was built rapidly there is a stunning consistency in the architecture of the area. This can be seen quite clearly and the district also manages to seamlessly combine the Art Deco style with other architectural styles such as Streamline Modern, International and Mediterranean. This district contains almost a thousand historic buildings and is bounded by Sixth Street, Alton Road, Twenty Third Street, Dade Boulevard and the Atlantic Ocean. The Art Deco Historic District (also known as the Miami Beach Architectural District) has many beautiful hotels that embody its unique approach to architecture. These include hotels such as the Amsterdam, Viscay Hotel, Essex House and the South Beach Hotel.
One of the most popular areas of Miami Beach is the neighborhood of South Beach. This area is a major entertainment destination and contains many hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques. South Beach not only attracts American tourists but also attracts tourists from Canada, Europe, Latin America and Israel. The large number of European visitors to the area accounts for much of the tolerance afforded to female sunbathers who are often topless in this area. It also accounts for the large amount of European languages which are spoken here. Languages spoken among residents in this area include Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, German, Italian and Russian. Less than one percent of the population speak Hebrew or Yiddish, however. This area is also home to a number of parks which include Lummus Park, South Beach Park, South Pointe Park, Collins Park, Flamingo Park and Washington Park. Haulover Park is a park that is operated by Miami Dade County. Its bordered by the Village of Bal Harbour and the City of Sunny Isles Beach. The park has picnic areas, barbeque pits, a nine hole golf course, a marina, six tennis courts and Haulover Beach. Haulover Beach is a one and a half mile beach that is officially recognized by the county as a clothing optional beach.
A popular attraction in the Miami Beach area is Fisher Island. Fisher Island was named after developer Carl G. Fisher, who at one point in time owned it. This artificial island was created in 1905 by a land reclamation project around Miami Beach. In 1925, Fisher traded the island to William Kissam Vanderbilt in exchange for a luxury yacht. In 1944, William Kissam Vanderbilt died and ownership of the island was transferred to Edward Moore. After his death in the early 1950s, the island was then bought by Gar Wood. The island would go through a number of different hands, development of the island was finally started in the 1980s. The island attempted to incorporate as a city in 2005, but the intiative was denied by the Miami-Dade County Commission. Today, the island contains a hotel, apartment buildings, a country club and several mansions.
Another popular attraction in the city is the Wolfsonian Florida International University Museum. This museum is dedicated to late nineteenth can early twentieth century design. The museum was established in 1986 by Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. as a way to display his own personal collection of art. In 1997, he donated the building and its contents to Florida International University. The museum has three floors and covers an area of fifty-six thousand square feet. Its collection contains books, sculptures, paintings, posters and decorative arts. Artist encompassed by the collection include Donald Deskey, John Vassos, Walter Dorwin Teague, Kem Weber and Nieuwe Kunst. Current, past and upcoming exhibitions include Styled for the Road: The Art of Automobile Design (1908-1948), Traffic!, Thoughts on Democracy, Meet Me at The Citrus Fair, A Bittersweet Decade: The New Deal in America (1933-43) and Modernism In American Silver: 20th-Century Design.
Other attractions in the city of Miami Beach include the Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum, Spa 101, Lincoln Road, Holocaust Memorial, Miami Design Preservation League Tour, Espanola Way, Miami Beach Golf Club, Bass Museum of Art, Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, The Versace Mansion, Haulover Inlet, Miami City Ballet, Jackie Gleason Theater, New World Symphony, Spa at The Standard Miami, Russian and Turkish Baths, World Erotic Art Museum, Colony Theater, 8th Street Designer District, Sunset Cinema’s Movies on the Beach, Aquasino, Miami Beach Convention Center and South Beach Sensations. The city is also home to several popular bars, restaurants and hotels. Bars and restaurants in the area include Wet Willie’s, Automatic Slim’s, Mac’s Club Deuce, Mango’s Tropical Cafe, Nikki Beach, The Fifth, Barton G Restaurant, Balans Restaurant, Tantra Restaurant & Lounge and Emeril’s Restaurant. Hotels in the city include Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Ritz Plaza Hotel, The Royal Palm Hotel and the Lorraine Hotel Beach Resort. Miami Beach is a city that is dedicated to fun in the sun, fun and exciting nightclubs, and entertainment for the entire family.