Brickell Bridge Looking North in 1948

Brickell Bridge on September 17, 1948

Brickell Bridge in 1948

This is a picture taken on Brickell Bridge looking north on September 17, 1948. In the distance, one can see the Ingraham Building located on SE First Street and SE Second Avenue. In front of the Ingraham Building is the construction site of the Model Land Company garage and office building on the corner of SE Second Avenue and SE Second Street. In an article in the Miami News on September 5, 1948, it was described as the “largest job underway” in Miami at that time. The article went onto describe the building as: “L-shaped, fronting 138 feet on SE 2nd avenue, 227 feet on SE 2nd street and 89 feet on SE 1st street”. It was designed to wrap around a structure that was located on the southeast corner of SE Second Avenue and SE First Street. This building still stands today at 229 SE Second Street in downtown Miami.

Robert Clay Hotel Entrance in 1937

Robert Clay Hotel Entrance in 1937

To the right and partially covered by the Ingraham Building is the Ponce De Leon Hotel located on Flagler Street. This is the hostelry that provided accommodations for Al Capone when he first arrived in Miami in December of 1928. He rented the penthouse prior to purchasing 93 Palm Avenue on Palm Island.

On the left side of the photograph are the Robert Clay and Patricia Hotels, respectively. The Robert Clay Hotel was built in 1926 on the site of Julia Tuttle’s residence. The Fort Dallas Barracks, which was also located on the footprint of this hotel, was moved from this location to Lummus Park in 1924. The former Tuttle residence was razed to make room for the Robert Clay Hotel. The hotel provided accommodations for Elvis Presley when he performed seven shows over the course of a weekend at the Olympia Theater in 1956. The Robert Clay Hotel was razed in 1968 and eventually became the location of the Hyatt and Knight Convention Center.

Patricia Hotel in 1953

Patricia Hotel in 1953

The Patricia Hotel was constructed in 1925-26 and opened for the winter season of 1926. It was one of several hotels residing in the Fort Dallas Park hotel district. The Patricia was razed in 1979 and sat just south of today’s Marriott Courtyard where the on-ramp to I-95 begins on SE Second Avenue in downtown Miami.

The undeveloped land on the right side of the photograph would become the Dupont Plaza Hotel and Office building two years after this photograph was taken. The Dupont complex was built in 1950. That land was once part of the Royal Palm Gardens that provided a beautiful backyard to Henry Flagler’s Royal Palm Hotel.

The photograph is courtesy of the Miami Herald. The photographer was Bill Stapleton.

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