Take a Tour through Surfside’s History
Dive into Surfside’s rich history and learn more about this hidden gem with a free walking tour led by HistoryMiami’s resident historian, Dr. Paul George. A South Florida native, Dr. Paul George is renowned for his knowledge of the most notable details about South Florida’s people and places.
Starting at the Surfside Community Center, curious residents and visitors looking to explore South Florida’s seaside enclave will learn about the Town’s colorful history including the glamorous past of the Surf Club, the neighborhood’s Art Deco architecture, and what created the foundation for the Town’s development.
In total, there are over 30 points of interest included in the tour, which will provide context and insight to the remarkable history of the Town. This complimentary and informative history tour ends near the bustling downtown area at noon, just in time to enjoy lunch at one of the many delicious eateries in the neighborhood.
The tour starts at the Surfside Community Center and heads south to The Surf Club, where Dr. George will take guests back in time to the eminent landmark building in the community; a place where one could say Surfside began. Originally designed by Russell Pancoast, Dr. George will be tracing its origins to the end of the 1920s, discussing the club’s role in incorporating the Town of Surfside and talk about its eye-catching transformation where it is now home to The Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, Surfside.
From there, the tour will continue to the Collins Avenue Historic District, which includes nine buildings constructed between 1946 and 1957, that are defining examples of Art Deco and Miami Modern/Mid Century Miami design. Dr. George will also shed light on the town’s Mediterranean-revival style buildings and homes, inspired by The Surf Club and discuss the evolution of Harding Avenue. The quaint downtown area came up after World War II and has hosted numerous family-run businesses, national chains, and Bache and Company’s Stock exchange.
Past the Town Hall of Surfside, tour goers will learn about the area’s beloved loggerhead turtles by viewing the “Tales of the Seaside Turtles,” a public exhibition along the edges of the Town Hall and just outside the Community Center, featuring decorated fiberglass turtle sculptures designed by local artists in homage to the protected creatures, who nest on Surfside’s beach annually.
The tour will be completed with a comparative look at some of this historic Art Deco buildings and newer glass-enclosed developments along lower Collins Avenue, ending in the heart of Surfside’s downtown district on Harding Avenue.
Meet Up PointTo join the tour, meet Dr. George at the meet up point in Surfside.
Surfside Community Center
9301 Collins Avenue
Surfside, FL 33154
The corner of 93rd Street and Collins
The first tour occurs on Sunday, January 27 at 11:00 am, and is sold out. Additional tours will be held on Sunday, February 17 at 11:00 am and Sunday, March 31st at 11:00am. The hour-long tour is free and open to the public. RSVP through Eventbrite.
Learn More About SurfsideWant to learn more about what to do in Surfside during the holidays? View our visitors guide or read more about Surfside restaurants on our blog. You can also learn more about Surfside by signing up for our newsletter to stay tuned for news and happenings in town.
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