Seeking any details on The Surrrey Hotel,Miami Florida. I want to know which musicians or vaudeville acts were booked, what the restaurant was like - any pictures, details, etc, particularly in the 1950’s era. I understand it was near the Fountainebleu- same street, either across the street or next door. So any one here who is old enough to have visited, I would love to hear from you. Thanks! -Chris
Moving thread from ATMB to MPSIMS.
You may have already done these things but I’ll mention them. Start with the local historical society. Libraries (including colleges) often have photo collections that can be searched. Subscribe to Newspapers.com or Newspaperarchive.com (I use both, they have somewhat different collections) and search for the name and even the address. Keep an eye on eBay for souvenir items or postcards. Try auctionzip.com and set up a subject search. If the name comes up in any auction you will get an email alert. Likewise for eBay.
If it was next to a more famous hotel like you mentioned, photos of that hotel may show the Surrey.
Sanborn fire insurance maps are great sources for detail maps of commercial areas. If they cover that part of Miami they should show the hotel and at least have some information how it was built, how many floors, etc. Check with local libraries for access to local Sanborns. I only have a pass for Ohio towns.
A quick Google search didn’t turn up much. I found a list of prominent hotels that were demolished and it was not on it so I’m guessing it was a small hotel.
There are a few things on eBay right now. One is a post card that gives the address as 44th and Collins and lists the room rates. Nice looking hotel.
Here is exactly where it was, from a PDF by the Miami Planning Comission:
“The Firestone property was occupied as a residence from 1917 until 1942, and meanwhile the population of the City of Miami Beach had greatly increased. During this time, the City had experienced a tremendous influx of hotels and apartment buildings. The steady march of these buildings was halted abruptly at the south line of the Firestone Estate property. It was argued by the property owner that the changes brought by the developments to the south had destroyed the character of the property in question, and that they should be permitted to construct a hotel on the site. By 1949, the Surrey Hotel and the Broadripple Hotel were located on a lot of land at the southwest intersection of Collins Avenue and 44th Street. The Surrey Hotel faced east on Collins Avenue and was separated from the western portion of the Firestone property by 44th Street. The Broadripple Hotel faced west on Indian Creek Drive, and was separated from the western portion of the Firestone property by 44th Street. The ocean front Sovereign Hotel was located approximately 125 feet south of the south eastern portion of the Firestone property. The Sovereign erected a canvas cabana colony along the north side of the hotel which abuts the Firestone property.”
During the war, a number of hotels in Miami Beach (and Atlantic City and other resorts) were taken over by the military for use as rehab centers for wounded servicemen. It would be totally unsurprising if the Surrey were one of them.
The SW corner of 44th and Collins is now a parking lot across from the Fontainebleau, per Google Maps.
I found the Sanborn insurance maps online, but the only one from the relevant area is from 1934 and the hotel is not built yet. It does show the Firestone estate and the older buildings on that corner. It was built around 1944, torn down in 1952 looks like. Newspapers.com has 180 mentions of it. Most are simply mentions in articles or rate ads. I didn’t see any ads for performers but then I just scanned the previews. Newspaperarchives.com has nothing.
Probably not too many folks here with memories of visiting it before 1952.
In recent years at least, newspapers will have a column or chart in the entertainment section listing concerts or other events happening in venues in the area. Often this column will be in the Friday paper and list events for the weekend. So, if you really want to know about musical or vaudeville acts at that hotel, start going through the archives of the Miami Herald and other newspapers in the area. Yes, it’s going to be tedious, but if you’re only looking at the Friday paper, that’s only 52 editions each year to be reviewed. (And once you know where in the paper to look, you can do this fairly quickly.)
Fascinating info- thank you!!
Dewey Finn, I tried to reply but was having issues. Thank you! I was able to reply directly to Denny and Elivis… I’m a newbie and making msitakes here. Mea culpa!