Science

The historic Miami Beach hotel that hosted The Beatles and JFK exploded

The once-luxurious Miami Beach hotel that once hosted the Beatles and President John F. Kennedy during the 1960s was torn down on Sunday after falling into disrepair and abandonment in recent years.

The 17-story Deauville Hotel itself collapsed when a series of explosions began shortly after 8 a.m. ET, spreading a massive cloud of dust. The hotel was built in 1957 and Kennedy spoke at the 1961 Young Democrats Convention.

The Beatles recorded six songs for “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964, attracting an estimated television audience of 70 million people. Celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and Sammy Davis Jr. performed there.

The Ed Sullivan Show
The Beatles rehearsed for “The Ed Sullivan Show” at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.

CBS via Getty Images


The property fell into disrepair over the years and was closed in 2017 following an electrical fire. Miami Beach officials and the hotel’s owning family fined more than millions of dollars for various code violations.

It is not clear what will happen to the lot now.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a billionaire New York developer, wanted to buy the property and build a 350-foot-tall (107-metre-tall) hotel and condo tower, but the plan is in limbo. The area has a 200-foot (61-m) height limit and a city ballot measurement that allows construction to fail on Tuesday.

City officials say Ross may still be interested in buying the lot if an alternative plan can be worked out.

The City of Miami Beach and the Miami Design Preservation League are working to strengthen laws to motivate owners of historic buildings to take better care of properties.

“Everybody goes back to The Beatles, and you even hear some people disregarding it, like, ‘Who cares about the Beatles, that was a long time ago? But it’s like all the venues in the United States, guess where they played? Like, right here,” said David Winker, an attorney with the Miami Design Preservation League. CBS Miami,

The Ed Sullivan Show
Deauville Hotel.

CBS via Getty Images


Winker said the city now requires an after-the-fact certificate that makes it harder for owners to clean up historic buildings and replace them with new ones.

Winker said Deauville’s current owners have yet to receive it.

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