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  • 4 years ago

The Surf Club, most famous of Miami Beach's Jazz Age private clubs, first opened in 1930. Founded as an alternative to the stuffy Bath Club and the downmarket Roman Pools, it was housed in an ornate high-Renaissance building on a then-empty stretch of beach. Over time, the glitteratti and social elite flocked to the club, attracted to its reputation for exclusivity and opulence. It became a favorite haunt for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor as well as Winston Churchill and the former King Edward VIII. Showing its age after so many festive years, new owners now promise to restore the luster of the venerable Surfside institution. They intend to erect two glass hotel-condominium towers on either side of the original Russel Pancoast design. In this episode, we discuss the Surf Club as it was and the world in which it thrived.