Historic Miami Beach hotel that hosted The Beatles and JFK imploded

Historic Miami Beach hotel that hosted The Beatles and JFK imploded

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A once-luxurious Miami Beach hotel that hosted the Beatles and President John F. Kennedy during its 1960s heyday was imploded Sunday after falling into disrepair and abandonment in recent years.

The 17-story Deauville Hotel fell into itself after a series of explosions were set off shortly after 8 a.m. ET, sending up a large cloud of dust. The hotel was built in 1957 and Kennedy spoke there to the Young Democrats Convention in 1961.

The Beatles performed there in 1964, recording six songs for “The Ed Sullivan Show,” drawing 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 rehearse at the Deauville Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, for “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

CBS via Getty Images

The property fell into disrepair over the years and was closed in 2017 after an electrical fire. Miami Beach officials and the family that owned the hotel sparred over millions of dollars in fines for various code violations.

It is unclear what will now happen with the lot.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a billionaire New York developer, wanted to buy the property and build a 350-foot-tall (107-meter-tall) hotel and condo tower, but that plan is in limbo. The area has a 200-foot (61-meter) height limit and a city ballot measure that would have allowed the construction failed Tuesday.

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

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

“Everyone goes back to The Beatles, and you even hear some people disparage it, like, ‘who cares about The Beatles, that was a long time ago?” But it’s like, of all the places in the United States, guess where they played? Like, right here,” David Winker, an attorney for the Miami Design Preservation League, told CBS Miami.

The Ed Sullivan Show
The Deauville Hotel.

CBS via Getty Images

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

Winker said the Deauville’s current owners have not gotten that yet.

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