Historic Miami Beach site imploded during Sunday morning blast

MIAMI BEACH — The Deauville Beach Resort hotel on Sunday was imploded and demolished as a throng of viewers watched the historic Miami Beach property come tumbling down.

As the demolition of the iconic site — built in 1957 — neared, it prompted some to openly wish that other options had been explored to preserve the property.

The landmark building at 6701 Collins Ave. was imploded shortly after 8 a.m.

Police implemented street closures in the area of Collins and Harding avenues between 65th and 70th streets during the event.

On Friday, area residents expressed a range of emotions about the impending end of an era.

“I think the plan is to watch it from our balcony,” said David Abissidan, who lives nearby.”We got a letter saying they’re going to implode it on Sunday, and we have to hide our A/C vents.”

The famed hotel is known for having hosted The Beatles during their live performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” during the 1960s.

Others like Rebecca Jensen had hoped the Deauville could have been preserved.

“They hadn’t sold or done anything for five years,” she said. “It was cats and homeless. . . it was demolition by neglect.”

Jensen had also been warned not to come out on the balcony Sunday morning, so she said she was planning to watch from somewhere else.

“And I hope that doesn’t happen again in our neighborhood.”

It may not.

The City of Miami Beach, and the Miami Design Preservation League have been working to strengthen laws to push owners of historic buildings to take care of their property.

“Everyone goes back to the Beatles, and you even hear some people disparage it, like who cares about the Beatles, that was a long time ago, but it’s like of all the places in the United States, guess where they played, like right here,” said David Winker, an attorney for the Miami Design Preservation League.

The city now requires an after-the-fact certificate that makes it harder for owners to clear historic buildings and replace it with new ones.

Winkler said the Deauville’s current owners have not gotten that yet.

“Guess what?” he said. “You got to build back exactly what’s here.”

It’s likely after the building is demolished there could be a long legal road ahead to build something new, which for now doesn’t bother residents like Jensen.

“In the short time, I’ll like the view, but I hope they come up with something good because it’s a beautiful piece of land, and a wonderful place to live,” she said.

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