The writing's been on the wall for the Ocean Grande—one of the very last few unrestored art deco hotels in all of Miami Beach—for a while, despite the efforts of some to preserve and restore it and despite being located in a locally and nationally designated historic district. Developers Ugo Columbo and Valerio Morabito are replacing the beachfront hotel with
Butterfield Beach House 8, an eight unit, eleven story (plus underground parking) mega-luxurious condo tower by fading-star architecture firm Arquitectonica with a design that, get this, is actually quite nice. Okay, the shifting white rectangular box look is nothing, and we mean nothing, cutting edge, but compare it to Arquitectonica's also very recently designed Paraiso Bay and you have to wonder if they were really designed by the same firm.
Meanwhile, the campaign to save the old Ocean Grande never really gained steam. Preservationists seemed very 'meh' about the whole thing. Although the building was designed by Roy France, one of Miami's most important deco architects, the exterior was unspectacular and the interiors probably gutted. And there you go.
· Ocean Grande Hotel coverage [Curbed Miami]
· Arquitectonica coverage [Curbed Miami]