The Surf Club
The Surf Club, most famous of Miami Beach’s Jazz Age private clubs, first opened in 1930. Founded as an alternative to the stuffy Bath Club and the downmarket Roman Pools, it was housed in an ornate high-Renaissance building on a then-empty stretch of beach. Over time, the glitteratti and social elite flocked to the club, attracted to its reputation for exclusivity and opulence. It became a favorite haunt for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor as well as Winston Churchill and the former King Edward VIII.
Showing its age after so many festive years, new owners now promise to restore the luster of the venerable Surfside institution. They intend to erect two glass hotel-condominium towers on either side of the original Russel Pancoast design. In this episode, we discuss the Surf Club as it was and the world in which it thrived.
- Forty Years of Miami Beach; 1957 Tequesta article by Ruby Leigh Carson
- From Millionaires’ Row to Hotel Row; Blog article on the evolution of that stretch on Collins Avenue
- Collins Waterfront Historic District; a City of Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board joint
- The Surf Club; coffee-table book by Tom Austin
- Surf Club on Curbed.com; assorted posts, mainly on the architecture and the recent additions
Biscayne Tales is a podcast about the history of Miami and South Florida. We hope that the episodes will appeal to Miami residents and visitors alike, encouraging them to start their own exploration of the city's people and places. This website is intended to accompany the show and provide additional materials and links for the curious.
Thank you for listening.
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