painted statue of a flamingo

What's being renovated now?

South Florida never lacks for hard-hat areas as investors maintain Miami Beach's reputation for cutting edge style. Mid-beach is teeming with the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels' extensive renovation projects. On the mainland, long-neglected kitschy motels along Biscayne Boulevard are enjoying renewed interest as viable commercial properties. The Carillon hotel in the newly designated North Beach Resort Historic District is being converted into an all-in-one hotel, spa and condo complex.

Two of the four buildings listed here aren't locally protected as historic buildings, but efforts to preserve their historic aspects are nonetheless notable. Unlike South Beach's buildings of the 1920s and '30s, MiMo's value is a harder sell.

"You have an even harder time convincing people that MiMo is worth protecting than Art Deco," says Scott Timm, director of programs and outreach at the Miami Design Preservation League. "MiMo is today what Art Deco was 30 years ago."

MiMo originated during people's own lifetimes, Timm says, so the reaction is to question just what makes MiMo so historical. Fortunately, a greater awareness of the economic and historical value of Miami's architecture keeps skepticism in check.

"The notion of preservation is a whole lot stronger than it was 30 years ago," Timm says.