Miami History Podcast: Burdines – The Florida Store

The eighth episode of the Miami History Podcast discusses the Burdine family and their namesake store. Opportunity brought William Burdine and his family to Miami in 1898. Having heard about the influx of soldiers deployed to Camp Miami during the Spanish American War, William dispatched his son, John, to the two-year old Magic City.

Shortly after the end of the war, William felt good about the prospects of building a prosperous business in Miami. Within a few years of arriving, Burdine built his family home in downtown Miami in an upscale area of Miami referred to as “Short Street”. He and his family would reside in this home until the patriarch’s passing in 1911.

A very young Roddy Burdine took over leadership of the store and it didn’t take him long to be referred to as the “Merchant Prince of Miami”. Roddy built the five-story flagship store in 1912 and grew the business based on principles of stocking his store with merchandise from New York and elsewhere. The store referred to their merchandising as “Sunshine Fashions”.

Listen to episode 8 of the Miami History Podcast for the story of the Burdine family and the store that made their last name a brand recognized around the State of Florida.

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Further Reading:

  • Book: “Roddy Burdine, His Family and Their Namesake Store” by Dr. Paul S. George.
  • Book: “Burdines: Sunshine Fashions & The Florida Store”, by Seth H. Bramson.
  • South Florida History Magazine: “Burdines: The Florida Store” by Dr Paul S. George, Summer 1998.


  • Burdine Store in 1912. Courtesy of Florida Memory.
  • Burdine Store during Christmas. Courtesy of HistoryMiami Museum.