James St Laurent’s Miami / 2
The Art deco district

A photo journal of Miami’s most intriguing neighbourhoods and sites

Text and images by James St Laurent

The tale of Miami Beach is a mix of folklore, comic book, thriller, detective novel and tabloid crime story. It is named after the Mayaimi, which was a Native American tribe that once lived around Lake Okeechobee but long since vanished.

Miami’s famed South Beach is an architectural treasure chest of art deco gems, built in the years following the devastating “Great Miami Hurricane of 1926” that razed the city. According to the front page of the Miami Daily News, the category 4 hurricane registered 150 mph winds and a tidal wave that swept an 11-foot storm surge across most of Miami Beach.

According to the National Register of Historic Buildings, South Beach is home to over 800 Art Deco structures.

Miami Beach Art Deco is a mix of whimsically coloured buildings, from pastel blues and pinks, to bright oranges, vibrant yellows and greens. These are embellished with glamorous features, décor elements, and intricate details, from porthole windows and shiny curves, to glass blocks and chrome accents, with exotic flora and fauna motifs, as well as prominent structural accents such as geometric fountains and statues.

Walk along Ocean Drive and Collins where a fascinating pastel spectacle of some of the most famous and dramatic Art Deco buildings is found. According to the National Register of Historic Buildings, South Beach is home to over 800 Art Deco structures.

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Read also: James St Laurent’s Miami / 1 Miami Beach

james st laurent photographer

James St Laurent My work is all about the idea – to communicate through images that convey an emotive context and engage the viewer by presenting a visual paradox. Different types of subjects and genres require different approaches, but the end result is still a compelling image that captures your attention. Despite having had a camera early on, I found myself in a career as a stage set and lighting designer, then accidentally stumbled and fell back into photography. Since then I have shot a variety of genres, ranging from fashion to travel to portraits to concerts, and exhibited in galleries in both group and solo shows. There are photographs everywhere – the problem is to find the interesting images or those that no one else sees. The obvious is easy– the unique takes a little more time. jamesstlaurent.com

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