Mimo (My-Moe), short for Miami Modern architecture, is becoming quite the alluring architectural style for new construction. In fact, when looking at Miami Beach’s most well known Mimo buildings, one easily realizes that almost all of them are undergoing impressive and expensive transformations.
The Fontainebleau Hilton (built in 1954) has long since been a staple of the tourism industry in Miami Beach and is under going a monumental $1 billion renovation. Its neighbor to the north, the equally historic landmark Eden Roc (built in 1956), is currently undergoing a $110 million renovation. Both properties are Miami Modern. But that’s not all; Miami Modern buildings throughout Miami Beach are getting pricey face lifts. The Mimo designed Carillon (built in 1957) is becoming the centerpiece of the new luxurious Canyon Ranch Residences—a project estimated at near a half billion dollars in cost. In the last couple of years, the DiLido (built in the late 1950’s) was transformed into the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. The project’s cost is estimated to have been near $200 million. The Mimo-designed Macy’s on Lincoln Road is getting a well deserved renovation. The Casablanca on the Beach is getting a $5.5 million 40-year recertification. The Shelborne has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. There is a Mimo casualty though, the Sheraton Bal Harbour (built in 1965) is to be eliminated to make room for the St. Regis Resort and Spa. The project’s cost is estimated to be $1 billion.
Overall, Miami Beach’s Mimo structures are getting lots of money pumped into their restoration and in some cases expansion. The Carillon, Fontainebleau, Eden Roc, and Sheraton Bal Harbour are all undergoing enormous expansions where the old Mimo structures serves as an architectural centerpiece. Just like Art Deco served to reinvigorate South Beach during the 1990’s. Today, Mimo is doing the same for the Mid and North Beaches. Although most of the projects are featuring new residential and hotel units, there are others, like the Casablanca, which are under going the required 40-year recertification process. Built from the mid-1950’s to the mid-1960’s, all of the Beach’s Mimo-era buildings are at that point in their lifespan where either there is a 40-year recertification or a complete renovation of the building. This explains why many of the Mimo buildings are more or less simultaneously being transformed. Currently, hundreds of millions of dollars either have been or are being invested into preserving and expanding Mimo structures. Mimo, unlike Art Deco, is unique to Miami. Architectural history is amalgamating with the future and the money is the glue that sticks them both together. Mimo is in the money.