Miami Beach Condo News Extra
A KevinTomlinson.com Special Feature
April 3, 2014
Winston Churchill. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Liz Taylor. You?
By Rebecca Kleinman
The Glamorous History of The Surf Club Four Seasons Private Residences
In oh-so-shiny and new Miami, few contemporary developments bring history and provenance to the table like The Surf Club. A quick history lesson presents a group of Miami Beach founding fathers, including Carl Fisher, Harvey Firestone and Irving Collins, surveying the pristine coast and soaking up sun on Firestone’s yacht in the late '20s.
It was then that the mavericks hatched a plan to escape the overcrowded Bath Club and city’s Prohibition laws by establishing their own oasis, all while founding the town of Surfside as part of their clever, catch-me-if-you-can strategy.
Decades of good times followed, as members of society, royalty and Hollywood -- the guest book is far too epic to even begin listing names here -- frolicked in and around the pool, lunched on the terrace and lazed about a wavy ribbon of chic cabanas overlooking azure blue waters, while sipping mangarevas, the house cocktail served in a coconut shell.
Dressed in black-tie and costumes for parties galore staged like movie sets, they streamed through grand rooms designed by local architect Russell Pancoast in the Mediterranean Revival style of Palm Beach and the nearby Vizcaya estate. Membership dwindled significantly, and it lost its luster from neglect.
Fort Capital saw a golden opportunity to restore meticulously the original core structure such as Peacock Alley, an arched promenade for the who’s who to stroll beneath glowing lanterns and a charming cocktail lounge aptly renamed after Winston Churchill, who took nips of scotch between brush strokes at his painting easel on holiday. The grand ballroom, featuring a stage and decorative cathedral ceiling with painted wood beams, has been covered for years.
Come early 2016, The Surf Club Four Seasons Private Residences
will toast the fantasy reborn.