Bay Harbor Islands – (view website) sits between North Miami to the west and Bal Harbor and Surfside to the east and was once the best place you could visit to see mid-century Miami Modern style architecture—often called MiMo—in the entire country. Recently, though, it’s become clear change is coming.
Some of Miami’s Best Architects
In many ways, Bay Harbor Islands can be seen as a gallery for many of Miami’s best architects. Head to Bay Harbor’s East Island and you’ll find a number of low-slung apartments and condos that were designed by legends like:
• Henry Hohauser
• Morris Lapidus
• Charles McKirahan
They took the art deco style that was so widespread in Miami during the 1930s and pulled it into the MiMo designs that cropped up during the middle of the 20th century.
The famous Bay Harbor Continental, a co-op building in a curvy wedge shape that is anchored by a cylindrical outdoor staircase, was created by McKirahan in 1948. It also features multi-colored glass that dots certain portions of the exterior.
McKirahan is also to thank for the Bay Harbor Club, the two-story V-shaped building located right on the water with great beanpole columns going from the ground all the way to the ceiling. Fans of the TV series Dexter would most likely recognize it as the main character’s home.
Times Are Changing
Although much of this history is worth maintaining, there’s a reason the National Trust for Historic Preservation named East Island to their annual list of their “11 Most Endangered Historic Places” back in 2014.
Many examples of MiMo architecture have already been demolished, though plenty more are awaiting their date with the wrecking ball.
What will this secluded portion of Miami become in its next life?
If current trends are anything to go by, it’s going to transition into boutique living. The area is truly a hidden gem. It offers a great location to anyone who wants to get around the city or hit downtown. Of course, if you want to visit the beach, you’re almost always within walking distance. This means plenty of waterfront views too.
Furthermore, the area benefits from an excellent school district. There are also Bal Harbour Shops nearby to enjoy too.
Its greatest feature, though, may simply be a sense of community. Whereas other areas throughout the city are expansive, Bay Harbor Island’s odd positioning gives it a small town feeling, despite all the big city amenities that are within driving distance.
Although most people who can afford these new developments will definitely have enough money for an automobile, public transportation in Bay Harbor Islands is very accommodating.
There is a free shuttle that runs between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. It makes stops in North Miami, Surfside and other popular locations. There are also public bus routes people can jump on too.
While Bay Harbor Islands definitely had a good run, it’s clear that the time for change has arrived. Hopefully, much of the amazing architecture the area is known for will remain and new examples of Miami’s top talent can find a home as well.
Check out homes for sale in Bay Harbour Islands HERE – www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Bal-Harbour/Bay-Harbor-Island/ and call our office to set up showing – (305) 336-0457.