History of Miami Beach & Tour of Fountainbleau

Project: Miami Beach Condo, Episode 1, Part 1

After touring Miami and visiting the famous Fountainbleau (designed by architect Morris Lapidus), Bob dives into the Miami real estate market in search of a condominium to remodel and refurbish.

With the help of realtor Gina Kirkpatrick, Bob finds the ideal fixer-upper. Bob and architect Michael Pierce walk through the dated rooms, brainstorming ways to admit more light into the condo and to make this 950-square-foot space feel less cramped.

Looking onto Biscayne Bay from the terrace of the apartment, Bob imagines the condo being a vacation home. With that specific image in mind, Bob prepares to usher in a fresher, less confined look and feel.
Part 1: History of Miami Beach & Tour of Fountainbleau
Bob gives a brief history of Miami Beach-- from its humble beginnings in plantation farming (1880s) to its rise as a tourist mecca, and as a winter destination for elites (1920s).

Miami developed from the farm envisioned by Quaker farmer John Collins into the luxurious adult playground imagined by developer Carl Fisher.

Bob takes a water taxi tour of Miami, looking north from South Beach, along Biscayne Bay, past the soaring skyscrapers and million-dollar condominiums being built today, to the mid-rise residential structures of the 1960s and 70s.

Next, Bob visits the Fontainebleau, an architectural gem and a Miami icon. This curving white hotel, designed and built in 1954 by architect Morris Lapidus, is now a Hilton Resort near Miami's Art Deco District.

As an architect, Lapidus flew in the face of conventional architecture, using curves instead of straight lines, and avoiding corners, in his designs. His grand spaces and stairways were reminiscent of French Chateaux.

Lapidus's fanciful design was initially panned and ridiculed, but it still stands as a testament to the excesses of Miami Beach in the Post World War II era.
Part 2: Locating the Ideal Miami Condo Fixer-Upper
Part 3: Evaluating the Miami Beach One-Bedroom
In this condo renewal project, Bob and the crew demonstrate how to use space, color, and choice finishes to make the most of a small space.

The kitchen is converted into an elegant dining space looking onto the living area, while a closet is transformed into a bar with recessed lighting and glass shelves. And the small bathroom turns into an oasis with luminous glass tile, a wash of color, and sleek new fixtures.

Pocket doors with an antique-look are installed so as to separate the living and sleeping spaces, and furniture is selected to reflect Miami's unique personality.

Finally, the outdoor space overlooking Biscayne Bay is made practical and, perhaps most importantly, comfortable.