Miami Beach Centennial: Party in the Port City

Miami Beach turns 100 years old, and that's a reason to celebrate.


Miami Beach PostcardThere have been more books and magazine articles written about Miami Beach, Florida—a seven-mile island city separating the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from Biscayne Bay—than any city of comparable size in America. Expect to read a few more of them this year. In 2015, the City of Miami Beach will celebrate its 100th birthday with a series of events that culminates with an extraordinary, mega beach concert on March 26. It will be a celebration on a scale that our world-famous destination has never witnessed.

Miami Beach was officially incorporated on March 26, 1915. What was once a mangrove-sandbar island three miles east of a then-barely inhabited Miami mainland, soon became an ocean-side city with one of the most celebrated beaches in the world.


Miami Beach WomenA few years after incorporation, a period of expansion occurred, spurred by the building of small hotels with funky, colorful style along and around Ocean Drive, now known as the Art Deco District. The district contains the largest concentration of 1920s and 1930s resort architecture in the United States. The establishment of major Army Air Corps training centers on Miami Beach during World War II brought additional expansion. During the nineteen sixties, an enterprising international population made Miami Beach its home. And with the expansion, so too came the famous, and the infamous, bringing national attention to the city’s sunny shores.

Since the nineties, Miami Beach has experienced exponential growth of worldwide popularity, giving the community its present-day distinctiveness and flavor. The local economy has boomed with the construction of parks, museums, galleries, condo-living solutions, corporate and retail buildings, as well as massive entertainment venues. The beaches are acknowledged as some of the finest in the world and attract millions every year.

Miami Beach People

Left: Western-movie star Tom Mix with Olympian and Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller at Roney Plaza Hotel, circa 1941.
Center: Al Capone with his brother at Capone’s Palm Island home in Miami Beach.
Right: Mickey Rooney at Roney Plaza Hotel, in 1940.


Today, Miami Beach is known as an American Riviera and also as the preferred capital city of Latin America. The perfect balance of sun and fun with business, wellness, culture, the arts, fine dining, and entertainment makes Miami Beach one of the hottest destinations on the planet. So, with that, we wish Miami Beach a very happy birthday. Let the Centennial Celebration begin.

[©Images courtesy of Myrna and Seth Bramson Collection; Miami Beach architecture 2011 image courtesy of Visit Florida]

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