The Suitcase Lady


February 28, 2017, 9:46 pm

Perhaps my love of Art Deco is hereditary. For their wedding venue, my parents chose an Art Deco masterpiece, The Ambassador Hotel, in the heart of Milwaukee. The year was 1933 and the elegant hotel was five years old.

The Art Deco style was born in Europe, primarily Paris, around 1900. Its design predecessor, Art Nouveau, consisted of nature inspired designs; tendrils, curves and arabesques. Art Deco, named from the Exposition Internationale Des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 1925, was based on speed, luxury, new materials and geometry…..circles, squares and zig zags. It was thoroughly modern.

I recently had the opportunity to visit America’s Mecca of Art Deco, Miami Beach, Florida. South Beach is the largest National Register District in America having over 800 registered Art Deco sites. Although the area had fallen on extremely hard times by the 1980’s, it was brought back to its full glory by two amazing preservationists, Barbara Baer Capitman and Leonard L. Horowitz.

A long stroll up Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue is like being transported to a land of architectural confections. Pastel shades of mint green, lavender, pale orange, yellow, baby blue and pink make the geometric hotels resemble giant cakes with tasteful floral decorations. Every aspect of these buildings is a visual treat including the elegant Art Deco typefaces that proclaim their names.

A taste of America’s Riviera in pictures…


Click here for a lovely and poignant story about the man behind the colors. The color palette he chose is sublime.

And below is a movie of the pictures…

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