Art Deco Weekend Program Guide - 2016 - Page 57

Dennis Wilhelm, Mike Kinerk and Barbara Baer Capitman at MDPL’s 2nd annual party in 1978. Before the Art Deco preservation movement began in 1976, Miami Beach hotels had employed a few thousand. In the 20-year period of the study, the data suggest the City of Miami Beach gained 8,000 jobs. The study also reports that of 480 federal rehabilitation tax credit projects in Florida since 1987 (worth approximately $920 million dollars), Miami Beach received 90 projects — nearly one-fifth of all projects — but Miami Beach renovations were worth over $500 million dollars — more than half of all money spent statewide. And tax rehab projects are only a fraction of the overall $2.3 billion in rehabilitation work in Miami Beach since 1987. The Rutgers study concludes: “South Beach owes its very existence to the historic preservation movement.” The Art Deco District’s existence today as one of the world’s premier tourist destinations is due to the vision of the late Barbara Baer Capitman and her team of historic preservationists and visionary hoteliers, who were determined to preserve, protect and promote the area as a tribute to its architectural contributions to the world. Capitman set out to enroll the Art Deco District of Miami Beach in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 by creating the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) — the world’s first Art Deco Preservation organization. MDPL is still going strong today, 22 years after her death. The District earned its early celebrity from a string of devoted and worshipful artists, photographers and celebrities as diverse as Andy Warhol, Cristo, Ron Wood, Michael Mann, Don Johnson, Bruce Weber and Continued on page 56 THE ART OF ARCHITECTURE 55