The historic Plymouth Hotel, with its iconic corner pylon towering above the lobby is slated for renovations courtesy of architect Kobi Karp and Think Hotel Group, with a grand reopening scheduled for early 2015. Throughout the years, the Plymouth has served various functions, from GI housing during World War II to, most recently, student housing for the New World Symphony. This past July, New World sold the property to Plymouth Hotel LLC, managed by hotelier Shawn Vardi, for a shocking $18.25 million (it was originally appraised at a measly $1.3 million). The iconic building will be converted into a 97-room boutique hotel, and will undergo renovations alongside its much smaller neighbor, The Ansonia, which will be converted into an exclusive all-suites hotel.
Perhaps the most abstract of South Beach's Art Deco icons, The Plymouth Hotel was completed in 1940 and designed by Croatian architect and former WWI pilot Anton Skislewicz (also known for The Breakwater Hotel). The building's sleek vertical bands and rocket-like spire - which holds a functioning elevator shaft - are clear influences from Skislewicz's early work in aviation and naval architecture. The dramatic imagery and futuristic sprit of the World Of Tomorrow at the 1939 World's Fair in New York was also evoked, according to the Miami Architecture Guide. Using the streamlined aesthetic of planes, ocean liners, and other modern technology, the Plymouth's most distinguishing feature is the absence of any elaborate ornamentation. This allows a pure expression of the building's simple geometric forms -- two rectangular wings branching out from a central cylindrical lobby. The building's streamline moderne aesthetic and smooth horizontality contrasted by the clean shat of the pylon is in stark contrast to much of Miami Beach's more elaborate and more vertical art deco architecture built in the decade before the Plymouth.