MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The historic Deauville Beach Resort in Miami Beach may soon become an icon of the past.
The hotel closed in 2017 after a fire in its electrical room. The city reportedly sued the owners for not making the necessary repairs.READ MORE: Man Held Without Bond In Killing Of Baby, Babysitter In Coral Springs
The celebrated beachfront hotel on Collins Avenue hosted The Beatles for their second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964.
Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett, and many more have performed there. John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan have occupied the presidential suite.
So is this demolition by neglect?
“Absolutely,” Eric Carpenter, Miami Beach Deputy City Manager said.
He calls it a tough decision, but explains, the Deauville is beyond repair, but commissioners are not as sure.
“People don’t understand these are our historic resources this who we are, do you know how many people are upset about this, not just residents of Miami Beach, people across the world that we are blatantly just going to go in with no regard and demolish this building,” Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez said.
“We don’t know how many firms the owners talked to before they got someone on board, but everything has now been triggered by the work of the firm, hired by the property owners who have an economic interest,” Mark Samuelian, another commissioner said.READ MORE: Report: South Florida Counties Have High COVID Levels, Despite CDC Numbers
The Deauville is iconic for its Mid-Century modern design, and famous for the Beatles 1964 visit where they performed live on the Ed Sullivan Show. Cementing Beatles Invasion in the US. All that may just have to be remembered as the city debates the need for it being torn down.
“It’s one of the reasons why people come down here it’s for that unique piece that is a little bit historic a lot of people went because of JFK, with Sammy Davis Jr. having stayed here, with the Beatles having stayed here, there is that little bit of draw,” Lindsay Shoop, a resident in the area said.
Residents nearby know the lore, but they’ve also been concerned over the state of the property since 2017, when the Deauville closed from fire, then suffered damage from Hurricane Irma.
“It’s dirty, it feels unsafe,” another resident said.
The City of Miami has sued the owners, the Meruelos to fix it, but a structural report done by the owners, and a walkthrough by city officials have concluded it’s too unsafe to renovate.
“We believe that a rush to demolish is too soon until we can get a 3rd party structural report,” Daniel Ciraldo, Miami Design Preservation League said.
Ciraldo and colleagues point out, many other buildings that were deemed beyond repair have been spared, despite scathing reports. Though getting a permit is likely the next step, legislation has changed to give the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board more oversight.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Testing Site Finder
“When the owners of the property come forward to do something on this property moving forward, they will have a lot of rights even up to requiring replication of the building that is there today,” Carpenter added.