Of Miami’s historic architectural styles, Mediterranean Revival is somewhat maligned. This is probably because, while the style continues to be used in a significant amount of new construction everywhere from Fisher Island to Aventura, so much of the new stuff is just so, so bad. The generic, suburban-mall quality of the new tends to make us overlook the sheer elegance, romance, and allure of Miami’s greatest old Med Revival buildings, which were almost universally built in the 1920s. And yet they’re all around us, from grand edifices like the Coral Gables City Hall and the Douglas Entrance, to the Miami Freedom Tower, and ultimately to all the little buildings that appear so frequently in Miami’s urban fabric.
Think of the many little Med Revival houses in neighborhoods like the Roads, Little Havana, and Buena Vista, the somewhat larger Med Revivals in Morningside, Coral Gables, and Miami Beach, the little shopping strips on Biscayne Boulevard that often have apartments upstairs, and the little garden apartment buildings on Collins Avenue. Mediterranean Revival is all over the place, if you look, and it’s spectacular. Curbed mined the archives of the great Miami street photographer Phillip Pessar to put together this selection of the glories of Miami Mediterranean Revival, great and small.