In December of 1954, “the world’s most pretentious hotel” opened its doors, ushering in an unprecedented era of glamour in Miami Beach.
Elvis Presley was a guest on Frank Sinatra’s Welcome Home Party television special, taped at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach in 1960. It was Presley’s first TV appearance after getting out of the Army.
The black and white bow-tie-patterned marble floor, Champagne bubble façade, and floating “staircase to nowhere” are just some of the luxurious details that define the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. First labeled flamboyant by critics, today it’s one of the most recognized landmarks in Miami, and the man who brought it to life is considered a luminary.
The Fontainebleau made headlines six decades ago when architect Morris Lapidus proclaimed he would build “the world’s most pretentious hotel.” The architectural community was aghast at the thought of such a behemoth going up along pristine Collins Avenue, and on completion the opulent vacation palace delivered what Lapidus had promised. Officially opening its doors on December 20, 1954, with a posh gala for 1,600 people, it instantly became a favorite retreat of the rich and famous, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and other midcentury icons. In this photo, Presley appeared on Sinatra’s TV show in 1960, filmed in the Fontainebleau ballroom.
NBWW is proud to be a part of this historic, now modern, icon’s legacy.
Read on >>> Source: Ocean Drive Magazine On this Day in Miami History: Fontainebleau Miami Beach Opens its Doors