Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ad for The Terrace Café at the Omni Hotel - 1984

From the Miami News, Oct. 27, 1984

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Miami police chief gets tough on speeders in 1912

Miami's police chief proposed a 12 mile an hour speed limit on city streets.

"No more speeding on the highways in the city of Miami," said the chief.

According to a story in the Aug. 10, 1912 issue of the Miami Daily Metropolis,  the police chief told his officers to arrest any violator "whether white or black, rich or poor.

"Further," the paper reported, "it will make no difference whether the person afflicted with the speed mania rides a second hand bicycle or whether he propels a 40-horsepower $5,000 touring car..."

Miami Daily Metropolis, Aug. 10, 1912.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Halcyon Hotel - 1912

Halcyon Hotel at 12th Street and Avenue B
(Now East Flagler and 2nd Avenue.)
Click here to enlarge.

Detail from above photo looking west on 12th
Street. (Now Flagler Street.)
Click here to enlarge.

Detail of center right of main photo.
Click here to enlarge.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Neil Rogers in Tropic Magazine, April 28, 1985

Tropic magazine, April 28, 1985
By Marc Fisher

The King of South Florida Talk sits in an ugly orange easy chair under three spotlights, leaning forward, his lips nearly touching the silver WINZ microphone. He is surrounded by scraps of newspaper. He stares at the clock, glances over to the telephone console.

No lights blinking.

His nails are bitten to the quick. His head twitches back and forth between the clock and the phones, the clock and the phones. He is, for the 23rd time this evening, repeating the station phone numbers. He scowls. Finally, a caller. He punches up the call.

"Line 2 in Dade County. Hello?"

Silence. A hang-up.

Neil Rogers, voice of the night, Nasty Neil, Uncle Neil, the funniest, most intelligent, most hated, most loved man on South Florida talk radio, is alone on the air.

Just south of the county line, at the end of a winding road, behind a chain-link fence, the radio station is plopped in the middle of suburban brush, a space-age pod packed with electronic gear and pulsing lights. There have been times when the switchboard flashed and sparkled; when the clamoring voices of callers petitioned for Neil's ear and a piece of his mind. But not tonight.

Tonight, a warm spring evening, Neil Rogers is in the talk studio, separated from his producer and technician by thick, dark glass, alone with his mike and his phone. His mellifluous sportscaster's voice fills the room, pumped back to him through speakers in the ceiling.

For all he knows, he is talking only to himself.

There's a certain breed of radio talk-show hosts who make a career out of making people angry. Neil Rogers made them angrier than most, and that made him more popular than most. No matter that he was a fat balding liberal Jewish atheist homosexual; his rantings drew the highest ratings ever on South Florida radio. Folks despised him and everything he stood for. Folks loved him and sent him cookies and long personal letters and went to the restaurants he advertised, hoping to meet the man who got their blood boiling and filled their evenings with laughs.

He was wild. Irresponsible. Outrageous. And delicious fun to listen to, unless, of course, he was calling you a "Neanderthal" or a "complete idiot" or "the worst thing to happen since the Spanish Inquisition." Even then, if you spoke to him on the air, you might figure, hey, Neil Rogers is calling me an idiot in front of just thousands and thousands of people. Pretty neat. And if you managed to tick him off just right, he'd say, "You're gone," and you'd be holding a dead phone.

Click here to read complete story.

Miami Beach restaurants - 1947

Newspaper ads for Miami Beach restaurants - from the Miami Daily News, March 5, 1947.

Click image to enlarge.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Jackie Gleason brings his show to Miami Beach - 1964

Jackie Gleason on the set of his show in Miami Beach.

Miami News, Sept. 26, 1964.

Jackie Gleason in 1968 publicity photo in Miami Beach.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Washington Avenue - 1970s

Paris Theater and Big Chips fruit market on
Washington Ave., Miami Beach.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ad for the Clover Club - 1952

From the Miami Daily News, Feb. 12, 1952.

Newspaper ad for The Clover Club, 118 Biscayne Boulevard.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Freedom Tower - 1983

Click image to enlarge.

Saturday, June 26, 1982
by JAMES RUSSELL Herald Financial Editor

A glass-enclosed 69-story tower with 529 condominium apartments and 500 Hilton hotel rooms is planned just off Biscayne Boulevard alongside the historic Freedom Tower in downtown Miami.

Details of the $170-million project, scheduled to start in early 1983 and be completed in late 1985, were disclosed Friday by developer Ronald Fine.

Fine said Hilton International Corp. is a 25 per cent partner in the undertaking and the Bank of America is providing a $140-million construction loan to finance it.

The plan is to pay off the loan with money earned from sale of the apartments, many of which the joint-venture partners expect to sell to corporations and luxury buyers in other countries.

"We'll be marketing this in leading business and commercial centers all over the world," Fine said. "We are building a condominium project on top of a hotel. We just put the two together, and they will be managed together by the Hilton organization."

The unoccupied Freedom Tower , built in 1924 and formerly used for 30 years by The Miami News, is to be restored and turned into a showplace of Miami's past and future and a business conference center.

Plans for the over-all project, to be called Freedom Tower Plaza, envision retail shops and a 600-car garage along with the hotel-apartment-office center development.

An official announcement of the project is set Monday at a Miami luncheon to be attended by Gov. Bob Graham, Mayor Maurice Ferre and top officials of Bank of America and Hilton International.

Freedom Tower , so named because of its role as a processing center for thousands of Cuban exiles, fronts on Biscayne Boulevard. The 680-foot condo-hotel tower is scheduled to be built directly behind it and linked to it by patio walkways.

In number of stories, 69, the structure outdoes other skyscrapers in Florida. But because of a difference in space between floors, it will be 71 feet shorter than the Southeast Financial Center that is just beginning to rise in downtown Miami.

The architect for the new tower is Welton Becket Associates of New York, which designed three large hotels for Disney World near Orlando.

Its use of off-site constructed modules of precise size and shape is to be applied to the Miami project. A single 450- square-foot module will become a single studio apartment, a 900- square-foot module a one-bedroom apartment and so on.

Preconstruction prices for the condos will start at about $100,000 per unit, Fine said.

" Hilton will manage the apartments and the hotel," he said. "It will handle the renting of the apartments -- if owners desire -- when the owners are not using them. The apartment owners will have full use of all the facilities and amenities the project will provide."

He mentioned 24-hour room service, an indoor swimming pool bathed in sunlight through a glass overstructure, special dining and entertainment rooms and shopping services.

Fine has a ready answer to the obvious question of how luxury condos can be sold when there already is a large oversupply and how hotel rooms can be rented when occupancy rates currently are at depressed levels.

"We are going to be appealing to a totally different market," he said. "Our market is the international business community. It doesn't matter to us how many other apartments and hotels are built. We will be providing everything the international business executive needs -- an office center, secretarial services, amenities ... everything."

By setting a starting date early in 1983, Fine hopes to catch the start of an economic recovery and decline in interest rates.

Fine said condominium sales offices will be set up in Hilton International hotels in key international markets to attract foreign investors.

"This is going to be a pilot project for the Hilton organization," he said. "Other similar facilities will be built later in other international cities."

The hotel here will be called the Hilton International Vista.

Fine's Venture Development Corp. bought Freedom Tower and its adjacent property late in 1980 from New York's Citibank, which had foreclosed on a loan to a previous owner.

Fine, 51, earlier had bought the block of downtown property at Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler Street that is the site for the 60-year-old Columbus Hotel. Before entering the real estate business, Fine was a corporate vice president for real estate and construction for Food Fair Stores.

He also owns the Miami Marlins baseball team and heads a partnership that has been seeking to build a theme park on Watson Island in Biscayne Bay.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017