John Sewell

Chamberlain Apartments next to McAllister Hotel in 1918

Chamberlain Apartments on Flagler Street

Nestled between the McAllister Hotel and the Elks Club at 313 East Flagler Street stood the Chamberlain Apartments from 1916 until 1925. The apartment building was constructed by one of Miami’s pioneer photographers, John Chamberlain, who knew that Miami would…


Preparing Grounds of Royal Palm Hotel in 1896

Preparing the Grounds for the City of Miami

In the Fall of 1895, John Sewell was in Palm Beach, Florida, working for Joseph A. McDonald who was the head of the construction arm of the Florida East Coast Railway. It was during a brief meeting that McDonald informed…


Royal Palm Hotel under construction in 1896

MIami’s First Christmas in 1896

Christmas 1896 in the newly-incorporated city of Miami was euphoric for many of its estimated 1,000 residents, who exhibited feelings of pride in for the transformation of a wilderness into an instant municipality in less than one year. In fact, some were already calling it the “Magic City.”


Royal Palm Hotel in 1927

End of Miami’s Royal Palm Hotel

The first twenty years of the Royal Palm Hotel represented a time when the hotel was the center of social activity for the growing City of Miami. It sat in one of the most desirable locations in the city and…