Art Deco by Goldman Properties
Why “The Tony?” The Tony Hotel South Beach, formerly named The Hotel of South Beach, was re-named in 2022 in honor of Tony Goldman, the legendary neighborhood placemaker and historic preservationist who restored the hotel to its glory and is widely credited with revitalizing South Beach in the 1980s and 90s.
The Tony Hotel South Beach
The Tony Hotel South Beach is an historic Art Deco gem nestled in the heart of South Beach, with an exclusive rooftop pool and bar overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and unrivaled hospitality from staff members who will know you by name. It boasts 74 beautifully appointed rooms within steps of the beach, where your complimentary lounge chair and beach towel awaits. No detail is too small for our hotel team as we strive to create a memorable experience for our guests. The Tony offers al fresco dining at WISH Restaurant and Garden in a beautiful courtyard setting in the main building, and a memorable “people-watching” experience at the iconic News Café (re-opening May 2022) in the ground floor of the adjacent Ocean Drive building. Amenities include the exclusive rooftop pool, a fitness center with a Peloton and gym equipment, and complimentary VIP access to the Wynwood Walls, the internationally acclaimed outdoor street art museum located just five miles away in Miami’s trendiest neighborhood.
The Tony Hotel South Beach was originally designed and built in 1939 by L. Murray Dixon, a master architect responsible for many of the Art Deco buildings that line Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive. Dixon’s signature style, embodied in this hotel, included streamlined curves, jutting towers, window “eyebrows,” and neon. Originally named The Tiffany (and subsequently renamed The Hotel of South Beach), the hotel’s rooftop “Tiffany” spire is an historic landmark, towering majestically over Collins Avenue for more than 80 years. In 1985, legendary placemaker Tony Goldman visited South Beach for the first time and fell in love. He saw past the blight and dilapidated buildings that plagued South Beach at the time and envisioned the American Riviera. He spent the next 27 years of his life leading the renaissance of South Beach, fighting to preserve its history while also envisioning its future as a pedestrian destination where people from all walks of life could enjoy its natural beauty in an inclusive community. Tony Goldman bought and methodically restored the hotel, among other properties, and in 1998 enlisted fashion designer Todd Oldham to infuse the hotel with the rich colors, shapes, and textures emblematic of the Art Deco era. The renaming of the hotel as The Tony Hotel South Beach in 2022, on the tenth anniversary of his passing, was a fitting tribute to Tony Goldman by his family, who still own and operate the hotel to this day.
Who was Tony Goldman?
The words “visionary” and “pioneer” are often overused, but not in Tony Goldman’s case. He was no ordinary real estate developer; he was a hopeful romantic who was more interested in revitalizing and reinventing blighted neighborhoods into enclaves of creativity, inclusivity, and diverse pedestrian activity than in building high-rises. His Midas touch helped turn these neighborhoods into global destinations. For Tony, it started in 1968 on the Upper West side of NYC, converting brownstones into lofts. He set his sights on Soho in the early 1970s, where he helped convert old manufacturing and industrial buildings into artist lofts, art galleries, and supper clubs, all while preserving the cast-iron architecture that differentiated Soho. He loved to sing, recorded two albums, and often performed at his own Soho supper club, the Greene Street Café. Tony Goldman made “edgy” cool.
On December 1, 1985, to the great fortune of the City of Miami Beach, Tony Goldman made a left turn on Ocean Drive at 5th Street. He instantly fell in love, looking past the problems that plagued South Beach at that moment and instead envisioning its future as the American Riviera. He would later recognize that moment as the yellow brick road on his way to the land of Oz. The moment was unmistakable: the collection of art deco architecture and the spectacular expanse of beach would drive him to spend decades of his life working with many others to preserve the historic character of South Beach. Nothing motivated him more than being doubted and told he was crazy. He invested virtually every penny he and his wife Janet had into purchasing and restoring art deco style buildings along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. He brought the fashion industry to South Beach and curated unique tenants in his properties, including the iconic News Café that is part of The Tony Hotel South Beach.
Tony Goldman led by example and remained deeply committed to his own vision in the face of many naysayers. His energy and passion were contagious, which inspired many others to follow his lead. His service to the City of Miami Beach was unmatched in his era. He was its most visible, vocal, and passionate ambassador for tourism. He served as chairman of the Ocean Drive Association for 10 years, and as the two-term chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. His legacy in Soho and South Beach earned him the highest award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation — the Louise du Pont Crowninshield Lifetime Achievement Award (2011). In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce (2012). In 2021, Tony Goldman was posthumously inducted into the Miami Beach Hall of Fame on a unanimous first ballot.
Tony Goldman left his mark on other neighborhoods as well, including Center City Philadelphia and Wynwood in Miami, where he turned an old industrial garment district into one of the largest collections of outdoor street mural art in the world, including creating the iconic Wynwood Walls. Tony Goldman lived his life to leave an imprint on the world — a legacy on which people of all races, religions, and preferences could agree that Tony Was Here!