Surfside building collapse sways judge on historic Deauville hotel

Fight to save the Deauville from demolition continues in Miami-Dade County court.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The fight over the fate of a historic building in Miami Beach continues in Florida’s 11th Circuit court. Judge Michael Hanzman ruled on the case of The Deauville Beach Resort.

The Beatles put the Deauville hotel on the map in 1964 when they performed in the Napoleon Ballroom, which today remains shuttered like the rest of the building.

“The city of Miami Beach is trying this court’s patience, and I am really not interested in having another Surfside case because the Beatles played the Deauville in 1964,” Hanzman said in court.

It was a big blow for preservationists. Hanzman sided with the building’s owner. He won’t allow the city to do its own inspection report.

“This court is not ordering any further inspection whatsoever.”

It was in January when the city accepted recommendations to demolish the building after a report paid by the owners concluded the building is unsafe and cannot be saved. Attorney Gonzalo Dorta represented the property owner.

“This building has been deemed to be unfair by the city of Miami beach. We need to bring it down and make it safe.”

City officials say this is demolition by neglect and blame the property owner for the building’s demise. Daniel Ciraldo is the Miami Design Preservation League’s executive director.

“It’s really important for us, for the integrity of the Art Deco District and these beautiful historical buildings that we really hold these owners to be accountable and to do the right thing,” Ciraldo said.

The building on 67th Street and Collins Avenue has the unique Miami modern architectural style and it is considered a South Florida cultural landmark. Attorney David Winker represents the Miami Design Preservation League.

“This building is owned by a private property owner but its history is owned by all of us,” Winker said.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.