And now, a new series for Curbed Miami. "Wolfsonian Wire" will delve into the collections of the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum to explore the history and architecture of old, old Miami with the help of the Wolfsonian's Chief Librarian Frank Luca.
[Photos courtesy Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach]
The first building on Lincoln Road was Miami Beach developer "Mr. Miami Beach" Carl Fisher's house, which he built in 1915 on the Ocean. The second was his sales office on the corner of Washington, and the third was the Lincoln Hotel, between Wash. and Drexel. The Lincoln wasn't particularly big, but it was luxurious, and it catered to the kinds of people - wealthy, white, waspy industrialists, socialites, and celebrities (basically everyone almost good enough for Palm Beach society, but not quite) - that Fisher wanted to buy land to populate his beachside city. The hotel had rambling sun porches facing Fisher's golf course across Lincoln Road, his polo fields were a few blocks away, and his glassed in tennis courts were catty-corner, where the Albion Hotel now stands.
During the 1921 winter season President-elect Warren Harding came down to Miami Beach on vacation, having lunch with Senator A.B. Cummins at the Lincoln, but staying in a villa at Fisher's newer, grander, and ultimately more famous Flamingo Hotel. The Lincoln had already been eclipsed.