Palm Beach's Firestone Estate, valued at $36 million, was not the only Firestone home in South Florida. From 1923 until his death in 1938, tire magnate Harvey Firestone had his winter home in Miami Beach, on a large piece of land with a whopping 1,600 feet of oceanfront that would later be used by Ben Novak as the site of the Fontainebleau Hotel. Purchased from James H. Snowden who built it in 1916, the Firestone Estate was the premier home on Miami Beach's "Millionaire's Row", and had a dining room ceiling salvaged from a home by Stanford White. Valued at $60,000 for the house alone, furnishings and landscaping doubled that sum.
According to historian Carolyn Klepser's Lost Miami Beach, which also has some interesting interior shots of the house:
Firestone was experimenting with new plant sources of latex on the tract of land across Indian Creek from the mansion. Thomas Edison, who was conducting similar research at his winter home in Fort Myers, often visited his friend Firestone and his "experimental rubber garden" on Pine Tree Drive to compare notes. After Firestone's death the house served as "quite luxurious officer's quarters" during World War II and served as construction headquarters for the Fontainebleau Hotel in 1954 which was being built around it, until the house itself was torn down to make room for the hotel's formal gardens and pool. Interestingly Palm Beach's Firestone Estate was constructed just a year after Harvey Firestone's death in 1938. One can only imagine that his wife or heirs were fleeing Miami Beach's 'oilcan society' (which is what Carl Fisher's wife Jane called it) for more rarified Palm Beach social legitimacy.
· Palm Beach Firestone Estate is on the Market for $36 Million [Curbed Miami]
· Lost Miami Beach [Google Books]
· From Millionaire's Row to Hotel Row [Miami Archives]
· Fontainebleau Hotel coverage [Curbed Miami]