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Miami Beach Hotel That Hosted the Beatles Is Demolished


In its heyday, the Deauville Beach Resort, a Miami Beach hotel, was a sleek emblem of South Florida cool, hosting the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy, not to say innumerable weddings, proms and poolside parties.

But on Sunday, as a crowd of onlookers cheered and shouted, the hotel was leveled in an implosion, forsaking a billowing cloud of dust, a pile of rubble and lingering questions on the longer term of the oceanside site on Collins Avenue.

In an email to residents after the constructing was destroyed, Mayor Dan Gelber said that town had waged a “long and tortured court battle with its neglectful owners who left it in disrepair for five years.”

“It needed to be imploded because multiple constructing officials and judges told us it was unsafe,” he said an interview on Monday.

Mr. Gelber acknowledged that the longer term of the location was uncertain after Miami Beach voters on Tuesday rejected a referendum he had supported, which might have allowed Stephen M. Ross, the chairman and founding father of Related Firms and the owner of the Miami Dolphins, to take control of the location and construct a hotel and condominium complex there.

“We want to return to the drafting board and find a greater option for its future,” Mr. Gelber wrote in the e-mail to residents.

In-built 1957, the Deauville was a recognizable attraction on Miami Beach, with the clean lines and lavish interiors typical of the architectural style referred to as Miami Modern, or MiMo.

The constructing featured a dramatic porte-cochere fashioned of parabolic curves over the driveway entrance, and the sign out front had a star as an alternative of a dot over the letter “i” in its name.

In 1964, the “Ed Sullivan Show” broadcast the Beatles live to 70 million people from the hotel’s Napoleon Ballroom, helping to certify the band as an American sensation. 1000’s of young fans thronged the hotel, clamoring for a glimpse of the lads from Liverpool.

The Deauville’s owners shut down the hotel after an electrical fire in 2017. Town of Miami Beach took them to court, hoping to force repairs. However the owners indicated they didn’t have the funds for from insurance to do the mandatory work.

In January, town really useful demolition after the owners filed an engineering report that found the constructing to be unsafe. Concern concerning the hotel’s structural integrity grew after the Champlain Towers South condominium collapsed in June 2021 in neighboring Surfside, killing 98 people.

The Deauville property is owned by a company entity registered to the Meruelo family, which runs other hotels and casinos and in addition works in construction. In January, Jose Chanfrau, a lawyer for the family, dismissed the notion that the owners had let the constructing fall into disrepair after the fireplace and further damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017.

The owners spent “thousands and thousands of dollars to avoid wasting the hotel,” he said in an announcement then. “The ownership is committed to bringing back the Deauville to its glory days.” But Mr. Chanfrau said on Monday that he not represented the family and referred inquiries to a member of the family, who didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Daniel Ciraldo, executive director of the Miami Design Preservation League, watched the implosion on a live feed on Sunday morning, an experience he called “devastating.”

“Anyone you ask here has a memory of going to the Deauville, whether or not they would go to prom there or their grandmother would go there,” he said. “It’s a landmark to the community and there are memories there that may remain, but seeing the physical constructing be imploded, it was just hard to bear.”

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