A Miami Beach Chronology

20th CENTURY
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1400

Related to the Calusa, the principal tribe of southwestern Florida, the Tequesta inhabited Miami Beach. A 1935 excavation of a burial mound at 96th Street would offer a glimpse into the home life of these first settlers.

1513

Having first made landfall at today’s St. Augustine on April 2, Spanish Explorer Juan Ponce de León claimed the peninsula he named La Florida, in honor of Pascua Florida, the Spanish Feast of Flowers during Easter. Reportedly on a quest to find the “Fountain of Youth,” Ponce de León, governor of Puerto Rico at the time, along with two hundred men in three ships, set sail on March 4, heading north towards a landmass referred to as Biminy, when they spotted “an island” unfamiliar to them. The conquistador and crew did not initially establish settlement, choosing instead to make intermittent forays on land as they sailed around the southern tip of the peninsula. De León would eventually return to colonize in 1521, but succumbed to injuries suffered when his group was attacked by native tribes. Today, according to a 2007 Florida Senate Statute, at the governor’s discretion, April 2 may be designated a “state” day, with the week of March 27 to April 2 as “Pascua Florida Week.”

1519

Captain Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda, a Spanish explorer and cartographer, was in the employ of the Spanish Governor of Jamaica, when in March 1519, he led a fleet of four ships and a crew of 270 men from Jamaica, in search of a direct route to the East Indies. Exploring the coast along the Gulf of Mexico, between Florida and Mexico, Pineda had hoped to find a strait to the Pacific Ocean. The first Europeans to lay eyes on the Mississippi River and the territory of Texas, they claimed the find for Spain. But perhaps just as important a discovery, was that Florida, long thought to be an island, proved to be a peninsula. Captain Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda was killed in a1520 Haustec uprising in Mexico.

16th Century

The Tequesta moved to the mainland, present site of the City of Miami.

1750

The Seminoles arrived in Florida.

1763

The French and Indian War, also knowns as the Seven Years' War, between Great Britain and France, ended with the Treaty of Paris of 1763, with France relinquishing all its territories, including Florida, in mainland North America. With the British scored critical overseas victories against France, including conquering French Canada as well as French colonies in the Caribbean, French King Louis XV, in March 1762, issued a formal call for peace. But with news of the British capturing Havana, including the Spanish colony of Cuba, Spanish King Charles III had refused a treaty that would require Spain to cede Cuba. Meanwhile the British Parliament refused to ratify a treaty that failed to reflect territorial gains made during the war. After ardent negotiations, the Treaty of Paris was ratified, becoming effective on February 10, 1763. Signors included Great Britain, whose parliament had overwhelmingly favored the terms (319-64) and Hanover on one side, Spain and France on the other, and Portugal “expressly understood to be included.” The Treaty restored most of the conquered territories to their original owners, with Britain allowed to keep most of its spoils, though it did, for example, return Havana to Spain. The Treaty also had the British resolving to defend Catholicism.

1763

Eighty Tequesta families were transported to Havana, losing their identity as a race to the native population of Cuba.

1783

Though it was the Spanish who named Florida in 1513, the 1783 Treaty of Paris gave the British control, ending two centuries of Spanish rule. The British divided the area, creating the colonies of East Florida and West Florida, not counted among the original thirteen. Both Florida colonies had remained loyal to the British during the Revolutionary War.

1817

Following the Revolutionary War, Spain had regained control of Florida from Britain as part of the Treaty of Paris of 1783. When the British left the area, Spanish colonists as well as settlers from the newly formed United States flocked Florida, many of the new residents lured by favorable Spanish land grants which paved the way for land ownership. The Seminoles were encouraged to set up farms, providing a buffer between Spanish Florida and the US. Even slaves desperate to escape their owners’ reach found refuge in Florida, though that agitated the US government. Steered by General Andrew Jackson, US military forces invaded the area, scattering the villagers, burning their towns and seizing Spanish-held Pensacola and St. Marks, resulting in the First Seminole War that would end in 1818.

1821

The Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida Treaty, has been said to represent “perhaps the greatest victory ever won by a single man in the diplomatic history of the United States.” Though negotiations over Florida had begun with the 1815 mission of Spain’s Don Luis de Onís to Washington, resolution would materialize when President James Monroe appointed John Qunicy Adams Secretary of State. In response to Adams’ demand for control over the inhabitants of East Florida or its cessation to the United States, Onis agreed that Spain would not only surrender the colony but would also renounce all claims to West Florida. The Treaty also defined the western limits of the Louisiana Purchase with Spain surrendering its claims to the Pacific Northwest. The US, in return, recognized Spanish sovereignty over Texas. Spain received no compensation though the US agreed to assume liability for $5 million in damage done by American citizens who had rebelled against Spain. Although ratified in 1821, the US could not immediately open the territory to newcomers as private land claims remained unsettled, and the government had to confirm all Spanish land grants issued before January 24, 1818, as in order to secure its remote region in the territory, Spain had offered land donations to anyone loyal to the Spanish Crown.

1821

Pirate Black Caesar and his partner Gasparilla were killed in an ambush by the US Navy. The Cocolobo Bay Cay Club still presides over the fallen pirate’s empire. The site of Black Caesar’s original landfall known as Caesar Creek (Elliott Key), is one of the finest fishing grounds in the world today.

1835

With the discovery of gold on Cherokee in the 1820s, Native Americans, especially those in the southeast United States, found themselves fighting to retain possession of their land. Desperate, some sought a sympathetic ear of the newly-elected President Andrew Jackson. But instead, the president, a Tennessean and veteran of the First Seminole War, in 1830, signed the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the resettlement of all Native Americans to lands west of the Mississippi River, dissidence met with force as necessary. While some tribes moved, without reluctance, as they saw the usurping of their land as inevitable, some sought legal remedy. Others, including the Seminoles who broke rank with the so-called "Five Civilized Tribes," and with Osceola emerging as a young leader among the tribe, opted for war. On a resupply mission on December 28, 1835, as Major Francis Dade, for whom Dade County would later be named, was leading 110 troops from Fort Brooke (near Tampa) to Fort King (today’s Ocala), nearly twice as many Seminoles and allies ambushed the men, killing Dade and just about all his battalion. Though three soldiers were initially spared, only one ultimately survived, returning to Fort Brook with tales of what became known as the Dade Massacre, signaling the start of “the most expensive war the white man ever waged against Native Americans—the Second Seminole War. The war ended in 1842, as early as 1837, some 46,000 Native Americans were relocated.

1836

On July 23, John W.B. Thompson, keeper of the Cape Florida Lighthouse at the south end of Key Biscayne, survived a 24-hour Seminole on the facility. Built in 1825, the lighthouse is still operational.

1838

Named after Major Francis L. Dade whose 1837 killing had spawned the Second Seminole War, and with Indian Key as the county seat, Dade County was created by an act of the Territorial Legislative Council.

1839

A post office was opened in Key Biscayne.

1861

After several meetings, delegates from around the state met in Tallahassee to weigh secession as the Civil War intensified, and on January 10, 1861, with a vote of 62 to 7, Florida became the third of 11 states to withdraw from the Union. Arguing against both the incumbent governor Madison Starke Perry and his successor John Milton, the former territorial governor, Richard Keith Call, was less than persuasive, when in a minority opinion as a private citizen, he had argued that secession would bring only ruin to the state. In a public ceremony on the east steps of the capitol the following day, the formal Ordinance of Secession was signed, making Florida a member of the Confederate States of America.

1862

Enacted during the Civil War, the Homestead Act, signed on May 20, was the latest attempt to encourage settlement of ‘unchartered’ frontier lands. The act made provisions for any adult citizen, intended or actual, to receive 160 acres with stipulations that included 1) the recipient had never borne arms against the US government; 2) claimants improve the parcel by building a house and cultivating the land for five years; and 3) after the prescribed five-year period, pay a nominal registration fee in return for a free and clear title. Claimants who preferred not to invest five years, could purchase the land at $1.25 per acre while Civil War veterans would credit for time served as part of the five-year requirement.

1870

With the goal of eventually starting a coconut plantation, Henry B. Lum and his son, Charles, visited Miami Beach.

1875

To rescue victims of boat wreckages, the first five houses of refuge—including the Biscayne House of Refuge at today’s 72nd Street—were built at 26 miles intervals, between 1875 and 1876.

1880

The marriage of Anti-Semitism and poverty in Eastern Europe spawned the great wave of Jewish immigration.

1882

Henry B. Lum partnered with Ezra Osborn and Elnathan T. Field to start a coconut plantation. Lum had already acquired 600 acres (14th Street to Government Cut), and Osborn and Field bought a 65-mile strip, including all of what is now Miami Beach, north of the Lum property to Jupiter.

1883

Henry M. Flagler who was born poor in 1830 in New York State but who would go on reap to millions as a Standard Oil magnate, paid his first visit to Florida at the age of 53.

1886

On November 4, Richard Peacock was the first recoded birth in what became Miami Beach, a year into his father’s five-year tenure as keeper of the Biscayne Bay House of Refuge. During the elder Peacock’s reign, the House of Refuge was an “open house” for all wayfarers.

1886

Henry B. Lum’s son, Charles, built a two-story house.

1890

Captain William H. Fulford became the third keeper of the Biscayne House of Refuge, and following his tenure that ended in 1902, under the Homestead Act, received a 160–acre tract in the area of 163rd Street. The Town of Fulford would later be named for the captain, though in 1931 the town morphed into the City of North Miami Beach.

1895

Henry B. Lum died, bequeathing son Charles his entire estate.

1896

At nearly 60 years old, though John S. Collins had previously visited Florida, he made his first trip to Miami Beach, not entirely for pleasure but to check on his less-than-optimal-performing investment in the Lum coconut farming venture.

1926

The bridge that Collins build might have been the longest, but it couldn't outlast progress, and on February 28, the Venetian Causeway took its stead, boasting a roadway made of concrete and steel, ten fixed bridges and two draw bridges, connecting the Venetian Islands, as well as Miami Beach to the mainland.

1400

Related to the Calusa, the principal tribe of southwestern Florida, the Tequesta inhabited Miami Beach. A 1935 excavation of a burial mound at 96th Street would offer a glimpse into the home life of these first settlers.

1513

Having first made landfall at today’s St. Augustine on April 2, Spanish Explorer Juan Ponce de León claimed the peninsula he named La Florida, in honor of Pascua Florida, the Spanish Feast of Flowers during Easter. Reportedly on a quest to find the “Fountain of Youth,” Ponce de León, governor of Puerto Rico at the time, along with two hundred men in three ships, set sail on March 4, heading north towards a landmass referred to as Biminy, when they spotted “an island” unfamiliar to them. The conquistador and crew did not initially establish settlement, choosing instead to make intermittent forays on land as they sailed around the southern tip of the peninsula. De León would eventually return to colonize in 1521, but succumbed to injuries suffered when his group was attacked by native tribes. Today, according to a 2007 Florida Senate Statute, at the governor’s discretion, April 2 may be designated a “state” day, with the week of March 27 to April 2 as “Pascua Florida Week.”

1519

Captain Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda, a Spanish explorer and cartographer, was in the employ of the Spanish Governor of Jamaica, when in March 1519, he led a fleet of four ships and a crew of 270 men from Jamaica, in search of a direct route to the East Indies. Exploring the coast along the Gulf of Mexico, between Florida and Mexico, Pineda had hoped to find a strait to the Pacific Ocean. The first Europeans to lay eyes on the Mississippi River and the territory of Texas, they claimed the find for Spain. But perhaps just as important a discovery, was that Florida, long thought to be an island, proved to be a peninsula. Captain Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda was killed in a1520 Haustec uprising in Mexico.

16th Century

The Tequesta moved to the mainland, present site of the City of Miami.

1750

The Seminoles arrived in Florida.

1763

The French and Indian War, also knowns as the Seven Years' War, between Great Britain and France, ended with the Treaty of Paris of 1763, with France relinquishing all its territories, including Florida, in mainland North America. With the British scored critical overseas victories against France, including conquering French Canada as well as French colonies in the Caribbean, French King Louis XV, in March 1762, issued a formal call for peace. But with news of the British capturing Havana, including the Spanish colony of Cuba, Spanish King Charles III had refused a treaty that would require Spain to cede Cuba. Meanwhile the British Parliament refused to ratify a treaty that failed to reflect territorial gains made during the war. After ardent negotiations, the Treaty of Paris was ratified, becoming effective on February 10, 1763. Signors included Great Britain, whose parliament had overwhelmingly favored the terms (319-64) and Hanover on one side, Spain and France on the other, and Portugal “expressly understood to be included.” The Treaty restored most of the conquered territories to their original owners, with Britain allowed to keep most of its spoils, though it did, for example, return Havana to Spain. The Treaty also had the British resolving to defend Catholicism.

1763

Eighty Tequesta families were transported to Havana, losing their identity as a race to the native population of Cuba.

1783

Though it was the Spanish who named Florida in 1513, the 1783 Treaty of Paris gave the British control, ending two centuries of Spanish rule. The British divided the area, creating the colonies of East Florida and West Florida, not counted among the original thirteen. Both Florida colonies had remained loyal to the British during the Revolutionary War.

1817

Following the Revolutionary War, Spain had regained control of Florida from Britain as part of the Treaty of Paris of 1783. When the British left the area, Spanish colonists as well as settlers from the newly formed United States flocked Florida, many of the new residents lured by favorable Spanish land grants which paved the way for land ownership. The Seminoles were encouraged to set up farms, providing a buffer between Spanish Florida and the US. Even slaves desperate to escape their owners’ reach found refuge in Florida, though that agitated the US government. Steered by General Andrew Jackson, US military forces invaded the area, scattering the villagers, burning their towns and seizing Spanish-held Pensacola and St. Marks, resulting in the First Seminole War that would end in 1818.

1821

The Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida Treaty, has been said to represent “perhaps the greatest victory ever won by a single man in the diplomatic history of the United States.” Though negotiations over Florida had begun with the 1815 mission of Spain’s Don Luis de Onís to Washington, resolution would materialize when President James Monroe appointed John Qunicy Adams Secretary of State. In response to Adams’ demand for control over the inhabitants of East Florida or its cessation to the United States, Onis agreed that Spain would not only surrender the colony but would also renounce all claims to West Florida. The Treaty also defined the western limits of the Louisiana Purchase with Spain surrendering its claims to the Pacific Northwest. The US, in return, recognized Spanish sovereignty over Texas. Spain received no compensation though the US agreed to assume liability for $5 million in damage done by American citizens who had rebelled against Spain. Although ratified in 1821, the US could not immediately open the territory to newcomers as private land claims remained unsettled, and the government had to confirm all Spanish land grants issued before January 24, 1818, as in order to secure its remote region in the territory, Spain had offered land donations to anyone loyal to the Spanish Crown.

1821

Pirate Black Caesar and his partner Gasparilla were killed in an ambush by the US Navy. The Cocolobo Bay Cay Club still presides over the fallen pirate’s empire. The site of Black Caesar’s original landfall known as Caesar Creek (Elliott Key), is one of the finest fishing grounds in the world today.

1835

With the discovery of gold on Cherokee in the 1820s, Native Americans, especially those in the southeast United States, found themselves fighting to retain possession of their land. Desperate, some sought a sympathetic ear of the newly-elected President Andrew Jackson. But instead, the president, a Tennessean and veteran of the First Seminole War, in 1830, signed the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the resettlement of all Native Americans to lands west of the Mississippi River, dissidence met with force as necessary. While some tribes moved, without reluctance, as they saw the usurping of their land as inevitable, some sought legal remedy. Others, including the Seminoles who broke rank with the so-called "Five Civilized Tribes," and with Osceola emerging as a young leader among the tribe, opted for war. On a resupply mission on December 28, 1835, as Major Francis Dade, for whom Dade County would later be named, was leading 110 troops from Fort Brooke (near Tampa) to Fort King (today’s Ocala), nearly twice as many Seminoles and allies ambushed the men, killing Dade and just about all his battalion. Though three soldiers were initially spared, only one ultimately survived, returning to Fort Brook with tales of what became known as the Dade Massacre, signaling the start of “the most expensive war the white man ever waged against Native Americans—the Second Seminole War. The war ended in 1842, as early as 1837, some 46,000 Native Americans were relocated.

1836

On July 23, John W.B. Thompson, keeper of the Cape Florida Lighthouse at the south end of Key Biscayne, survived a 24-hour Seminole on the facility. Built in 1825, the lighthouse is still operational.

1838

Named after Major Francis L. Dade whose 1837 killing had spawned the Second Seminole War, and with Indian Key as the county seat, Dade County was created by an act of the Territorial Legislative Council.

1839

A post office was opened in Key Biscayne.

1861

After several meetings, delegates from around the state met in Tallahassee to weigh secession as the Civil War intensified, and on January 10, 1861, with a vote of 62 to 7, Florida became the third of 11 states to withdraw from the Union. Arguing against both the incumbent governor Madison Starke Perry and his successor John Milton, the former territorial governor, Richard Keith Call, was less than persuasive, when in a minority opinion as a private citizen, he had argued that secession would bring only ruin to the state. In a public ceremony on the east steps of the capitol the following day, the formal Ordinance of Secession was signed, making Florida a member of the Confederate States of America.

1862

Enacted during the Civil War, the Homestead Act, signed on May 20, was the latest attempt to encourage settlement of ‘unchartered’ frontier lands. The act made provisions for any adult citizen, intended or actual, to receive 160 acres with stipulations that included 1) the recipient had never borne arms against the US government; 2) claimants improve the parcel by building a house and cultivating the land for five years; and 3) after the prescribed five-year period, pay a nominal registration fee in return for a free and clear title. Claimants who preferred not to invest five years, could purchase the land at $1.25 per acre while Civil War veterans would credit for time served as part of the five-year requirement.

1870

With the goal of eventually starting a coconut plantation, Henry B. Lum and his son, Charles, visited Miami Beach.

1875

To rescue victims of boat wreckages, the first five houses of refuge—including the Biscayne House of Refuge at today’s 72nd Street—were built at 26 miles intervals, between 1875 and 1876.

1880

The marriage of Anti-Semitism and poverty in Eastern Europe spawned the great wave of Jewish immigration.

1882

Henry B. Lum partnered with Ezra Osborn and Elnathan T. Field to start a coconut plantation. Lum had already acquired 600 acres (14th Street to Government Cut), and Osborn and Field bought a 65-mile strip, including all of what is now Miami Beach, north of the Lum property to Jupiter.

1883

Henry M. Flagler who was born poor in 1830 in New York State but who would go on reap to millions as a Standard Oil magnate, paid his first visit to Florida at the age of 53.

1886

On November 4, Richard Peacock was the first recoded birth in what became Miami Beach, a year into his father’s five-year tenure as keeper of the Biscayne Bay House of Refuge. During the elder Peacock’s reign, the House of Refuge was an “open house” for all wayfarers.

1886

Henry B. Lum’s son, Charles, built a two-story house.

1890

Captain William H. Fulford became the third keeper of the Biscayne House of Refuge, and following his tenure that ended in 1902, under the Homestead Act, received a 160–acre tract in the area of 163rd Street. The Town of Fulford would later be named for the captain, though in 1931 the town morphed into the City of North Miami Beach.

1895

Henry B. Lum died, bequeathing son Charles his entire estate.

1896

At nearly 60 years old, though John S. Collins had previously visited Florida, he made his first trip to Miami Beach, not entirely for pleasure but to check on his less-than-optimal-performing investment in the Lum coconut farming venture.

1901

Richard “Dick” M. Smith built a two-story wooden pavilion, just north of where Government Cut would be, opening as the Dick Smith Casino.

1903

Judge Frank B. Stoneman, on September 15, reorganized and moved the Orlando Record to Miami, renaming it the Miami Evening Record, though that name wouldn’t last, eventually becoming the Morning News-Records. The 1907 recession would financially devastate the publication, and having secured a loan from Henry Flagler, Frank B. Shutts, founder of the law firm Shutts & Bowen, bought the flailing newspaper, and would, in 1910, rename it the Miami Herald. Perhaps fueled by the land boom of the 1920s, the Miami Herald was the largest newspaper in the world at the height of expansion, though only a few years later, the publication almost folded, near victim the Great Depression.

1905

Government Cut shipping channel opened, creating Fisher Island.

1907

Disappointed with the performance of his investment in the Lum coconut farming venture, John S. Collins purchased Ezra Osborn and Elnathan T. Field’s share of the business.

1907

Having discovered that not only were coconuts trees not native, but that salt water was also detrimental to their survival, as were the incessant attacks from rabbits and other natives, quite the agrarian, John Collins turned instead to avocado, and in 1907, started planting nearly 3,000 trees after buying Ezra Osborn and Elnathan T. Field’s share of the Lum coconut venture.

1908

Dan Hardie became Sheriff of Dade County, ridding the area of the notorious “Rice Gang” which had been robbing, killing and spreading terror.

1908

Avery Smith bought the Dick Smith Casino from then owner Henry Black, and had Charles Lum transfer the land lease to him. (Ownership of building and land were separate at the time.)

1909

Avery Smith and C. Warr formed the Biscayne Navigation Company, running two ferries.

1908

Born January 12, 1874, in Greensburg, Indiana, Carl Fisher first visited Miami with his wife Jane.

1911

Digging of the Collins Canal, allowing for transportation of John Collins’ produce from his farm to the railway station across the bay.

1911

John Collins’ family came to Miami to assess the project viability. Thomas Pancoast, Collins’ son-in-law and partner in the family business (farm machinery, coal, lumber, builders’ and farmers’ supplies) saw Miami Beach as a tenable resort.

1912

Despite Avery Smith’s ardent objections, John Collins obtained approval to erect a bridge across the bay.

1912

John Collins was introduced, by his lawyer, Frank Shutts, to Carl Fisher, who, for bridge bonds as collateral, as well as 200 acres from the Miami Beach Improvement Company’s, (from ocean to bay, between 15th and 19th streets), lent Collins $50,000 to complete the bridge.

1912

The Lummus, brothers John and James, along with Avery Smith, formed the Ocean Beach Realty Company, purchasing 600 acres, most of it from Charles Lum (from 14th Street to Government Cut). Biscayne Street (today’s South Pointe Drive) was laid out along the north side of Smith’s strip of land, and the numbered streets started a block farther north. In keeping with the South’s tradition of not restricting the Jewish community, the original Lummus development had no restrictions against Jews, as was customary elsewhere in the country, though restrictions against African-Americans were still in effect.

1912

The Collins-Pancoast family formed the Miami Beach Improvement Company on June 2.

1912

The Ocean Beach Realty Company began platting in July, selling the Ocean Beach Subdivision located at Biscayne Street (today’s South Pointe Drive) north to Fifth Street; and east to west, from Ocean Drive to what would become Washington Avenue.

1912

Seventy-four-year-old farmer and pioneer, John S. Collins, witnessed the November opening of the Collins Canal he created to transport his avocado crops across Miami Beach.

1913

In exchange for 100 acres at the northern end of the Lummus parcel, Carl Fisher lent John N. Lummus $150,000.

1913

Miami Beach Improvement Company bullheaded and dredged Lake Pancoast, removing an island in Indian Creek.

1913

On the advice of his doctors and having borrowed $50 from his life insurance policy, Hungarian-born Joe Weiss left his wife and young son in New York for the more asthma-friendly Miami weather. Becoming the first Jewish family to permanently call Miami Beach home, and with his background as a waiter, Joe started operating a lunch stand at Smith’s bathing casino, sowing the seeds for what would become the iconic Miami Beach staple—Joe’s Stone Crab. But ironically, what became his signature almost didn’t happen, as it was not until a researcher at Allison’s aquarium alerted the proprietor to the intricacies of preparing the delicacy. Boiling, it turned out, removed the excess iodine from the crustacean, improving the taste. By then, his wife Jennie and son Jessie had joined Joe, and with Jennie waiting tables and Joe himself cooking, Joe’s Restaurant opened in 1913. By 1921, because of the popularity of the stone crabs, the restaurant became Joe’s Stone Crab, attracting the biggest names of the day—from Al Capone to Amelia Earhart to Gloria Swanson & Joseph Kennedy to J. Edgar Hoover. Today, Joe’s Stone Crab remains a must-do for the discerning—local or visiting.

1913

To help the “speeding up” of development of Miami Beach, E.E. “Doc” Dammers was hired to conduct the first public beach auction on February 19, attracting the curious, the speculator, the bargain seeker. Held over multiple days, throngs, lured by the promise of gifts that included “free dishes, sets of china, crockery, glassware to anyone who showed up,” attended the auction, making the it a resounding success that would be replicated not only in South Florida but across the country. As would be later recounted, “To see “Doc” Dammers in action after the boats had brought the crowd to Miami Beach was worth the money. He would size up the people, and after giving them a real sales-talk on the future possibilities of this “Ocean Heaven for the Sun Seekers,” he would reach for the hat and draw out a number. As each passenger on every boat had a number, someone drew something.”

1913

Dade County’s Sheriff Dan Hardie opened a rival bathhouse and restaurant, a block north of Smith’s.

2000

Miami Beach population was 88,163.

2001

Ninety-eight-year-old Morris Lapidus, who once famously declared, "I was a rebel. I refused to go along with building boxes,” died on January 18, mere days into the new century, having designed 1,200 buildings, including 250 hotels, by the time he retired in 1984. A retail designer before turning to architecture, the Russian-born, Brooklyn-bred Lapidus met his share of critics, many deriding his work as vulgar, "superschlock," "High Kitsch" and "Miami Beach French." But Lapidus abhorred subtlety, quipping, “If you like ice cream, why stop at one scoop? Have two; have three.” His propensity for the extravagant are evidenced in his outlandish designs, including the Fontainebleau Hotel which he called “the world’s most pretentious hotel.” Named an “American Original” by the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in its inaugural national design awards, Lapidus credited his success to people, noting, “My whole success is, I've always been designing for people, first because I wanted to sell them merchandise. Then when I got into hotels, I had to rethink, what am I selling now? You're selling a good time."

2002

Developer Ian Bruce Eichner built the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed Continuum South on the site of South Pointe’s Kennel Club.

2002

The Related Group built the Fullerton Diaz Architects-designed Murano at Portofino in South Pointe.

2002

Developer Donahue Peebles built the Royal Palm South Beach Miami, a $80 million replica of the razed historic Royal Palm Hotel, while simultaneously undertaking the restoration of the neighboring Shorecrest Hotel, ending a ten-year African-American boycott of the city for its refusal to bestow Nelson Mandela a proclamation and “key to the city” during his 1990 visit.

2002

Art Basel Miami Beach launched under the direction of Sam Keller who counts the marriage of culture and commerce among his greatest achievements.

2003

The Related Group built the Sieger & Suarez Architectural-designed Murano Grande in South Pointe.

2003

The Soffer's Turnberry Associates developed the Nichols Brosch Wurst & Wolfe-designed Fontainebleau III with the façade of the Sorrento Hotel replicated as part of the project.

2004

Craig Robins’ DACRA began development of Aqua on the site of the St Francis Hospital where Robins was born some 40 years earlier.

2004

Designed by Mouriz Salazar & Associates, the Cosmopolitan, the final phase of the Courts development, was completed.

2004

Allan T. Shulman designed the new La Gorce Country Club.

2005

Completion of the Strand, an amalgamation of five buildings into one structure. Overseen by architect Kobi Karp & Associates, the 1964 Joel Meyer-designed Ben Stan, the 1936 Henry Hohauser-designed Congress, the 1950 Tony Sherman-designed Waves Apartments and the 1934 Henry J. Moloney-designed Bon Air all joined the Strand, designed by Karp.

2005

Donahue Peebles developed the Revuelta, Vega, Leon-designed Bath Club Residences.

2005

Completion of the Arquitectonica-designed Bentley Bay Condominiums whose South Tower was built on the Floridian’s site at 520 West Avenue.

2005

Arquitectonica designed the Canyon Ranch Living, incorporating the 1958 Norman Giller-designed Carillon Hotel tower, known again today as the Carillon Hotel.

2005

With the original eight-story Vanderbilt-Dempsey Hotel in disrepair, architects Schapiro & Associates were hired to reimagine the historic property as the Setai, paying careful attention to incorporating an exacting replica of the original Art Deco façade. Distinctive antique bricks were imported from Shanghai’s Old City, itself a hotbed of Art Deco buildings, for the construction of the lobby.

2006

Fisher Island Club morphed into Fisher Island Holdings, LLC, operating Fisher Island.

2007

Designed by Sieger & Suarez, the Related Group built Apogée Condominium in South Pointe.

2007

With Live Nation Entertainment at the helm of its operation, the Miami Beach Municipal Auditorium/Jackie Gleason Theater was renamed the Fillmore Miami Beach.

2007

The Arquitectonica-designed Artecity was completed at 2140 Park Avenue, and included the redevelopment of most of the block between Park and Washington avenues, from 21st and 22nd streets, around the Governor Hotel.

2008

Construction began on the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center at Lincoln Road and 17th Street. The new home of the New World Symphony, the design called for a 756-seat performance hall surrounded by sails pulling double duty: reflect sound and serve as projection screens, as well as a 7,000 square-foot projection wall on the façade, enabling live streams.

2008

Construction of the Kobi Karp-designed Capri South Beach 1445 16th Street as well as the Capri Marina Piccola Condominium at 1491 Lincoln Terrace, the site of Gilbert M. Fein and Igor Poletvitzky’s respective former developments.

2008

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Ian Bruce Eichner built the Continuum North in South Pointe.

2010

Miami Beach population was 87,779.

2010

The rear portion of the Golden Sands Hotel was demolished, making room for the Luis Revuelta-designed L’Atelier, an 18-story, 20-unit condominium that incorporated the Golden Sands’ façade in its blueprint at 6901 Collins Avenue.

2010

Clifford Stein purchased the Lincoln Theater, converting it to retail shops.

2011

The City of Miami Beach adopted a Year 2025 Comprehensive Plan on April 13.

2011

The technology-rich New World Center opened on January 26, as the new home of the New World Symphony, revealing designs born out of collaboration between the Symphony’s cofounder, 11-time Grammy award-winning Michael Tilson Thomas and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry. A technological marvel housed in an architectural gem, the center façade boasted a 7,000 square-foot projection wall, think live streams, a 756-seat performance hall, as well as multiple flexible spaces. Completing the New World Campus, and the final piece of the city’s redevelopment of the core, the 2.5-acre Miami Beach SoundScape Park extended the center’s footprint, and featured an unprecedented, distinctive, and ambitious audio-visual program, which, according to its architect, West 8, provide “a free space to sit, view, and hear performances at concert level quality in the park.”

2014

Miami Beach population was 91,732.

2014

To fortify the city against rising sea levels, newly-elected Mayor Philip Levine increased the City’s budget to implement a $500-million public works campaign over the coming five years. The work would include raising roads, installing pumps to push rainwater out to sea and one-way flex valves to stop seawater from flowing in.

2015

Creation of the Miami Beach’s Sustainability and Resiliency Committee (SRC) to develop policies and promote practices to improve resilience to coastal flooding, sea level rise and other climate-related vulnerabilities.

2016

Fort Capital developed the Richard Meier-designed Surf Club Four Seasons Private Residences in Surfside.

2017

Available on the city’s website Rising Above, the city launched an elevation calculator that to translate technical terms and measurements.

2018

Designed by Arquitectonica and landscapes architects West 8, the reimagined 1.4 million-square-foot Miami Beach Convention Center, featuring 500,000 square feet of renovated exhibit space as well as a state-of-the-art, 60,000 square-foot grand ballroom was unveiled.

2018

With residents raising objections, fearing raised roads would flood their properties, the City of Miami Beach commission deferred a $90-million roadway and storm water improvement project planned for North Bay Road.