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A Brief History of Miami Beach
Miami Beach is a city in SE Florida on an island between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The area was originally a mangrove swamp. A wooden bridge was built from the mainland in 1913, but development was slow until the Florida land boom in the 1920s. The 1979 designation of an Art Deco section of South Beach as a historic district, however, slowly set in motion interest in "Miami Modernism," the architectural style of Miami Beach that characterizes the city's 1950s hotels.
Now connected to Miami by four causeways, Miami Beach is famous for its glamorous hotel strip, extravagant estates, and recreational amenities. It is a popular year-round resort and thus the city’s chief source of income comes from its tourists. In fact, one of the main goals of the City of Miami Beach is "to enrich the economic and cultural fabric of Miami Beach through the support of tourism, production, and entertainment by fostering events and cultural arts programming. Miami Beach has a rich history as a trend setting arts center, from the world famous nightclubs of the 50's, to the rich cultural life of today's modern South Beach. Tourism and tourism related architecture have long defined the Miami Beach image and contributed vastly to its prominence as major leisure and business destination."
The city's many recreational facilities contribute to the Miami Beach appeal. The 34,000-seat Convention Hall complex has hosted several national political conventions and the Miami Beach garden center and conservatory contains orchids, anthuriums, and ferns. Other cultural institutions include the Bass Art Museum, the amenities of the Cultural Park, and the Wolfsonian, a museum of design.