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Aquacabana: 1941

Aquacabana: 1941

March 5, 1941. "Raleigh Hotel, Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida. Snack bar. L. Murray Dixon, architect." Gottscho-Schleisner photo. View full size.


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Real estate negotiations

Alistair Cooke, in his book The American Home Front, describes the rental deal between the Army and the hotel owners:

You hear afterwards that the crux of the negotiations was reached on a sunny afternoon when the Army acquainted the hotel operators with its normal basic rate. The hotel-keepers started to expound the woes of their business. They pointed out that most of the big hotels had been built at a cost of anything up to half a million dollars. Through the winter season they asked and got anything from $20.00 to $35.00 a room a day. The Army repeated the grievous news that its basic rate was $10.00 a man a month. It would be hard to imagine a more exquisite opportunity for use of the word 'compromise'. But the deadlock was resolved by a young Lieutenant who remarked that the Army does not theoretically engage rooms, it rents cubic feet. After a moment's silence, the perspiration rolled happily down the foreheads of the hotel men. The only problem now was how many men you could pack into a room, 16 x 20. A little hasty arithmetic was figured on scratch pads, and the conference was amicably ended. The only headache they had to wrestle with was how to store or dispose of the furniture and furnishings, for again the Army likes its cubic feet to be uninhibited by four-poster beds and Jacobean trestles.

There's Always Money

in the banana stand.

The Most Beautiful Boot Camp In America

From 1942 to 1945, The US Army Air Forces Training Command requisitioned over 300 Miami Beach hotels, including the Raleigh. They were used both as residences and classrooms. During that period fully 25 percent of the USAAF officers and 20 percent of the Air Force's enlisted men had been trained there.

Check out this post card from the era.

Still There

Still Standing, with a few more palm trees for privacy.

Nautical Theme

This tower is still in use at the Raleigh. How fun to stay there and enjoy the cool outdoor bar and nearby pool.

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