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Behind the Lens: Love Art Deco Architecture? Check Out This City Hall.

Photos and musings from photographer David Kidd.

Miami city hall 1
(David Kidd)
Flying boats and Art Deco architecture were all the rage 80 years ago. That was especially true in Miami, where in 1934 Pan Am Airways opened a new seaplane terminal in Coconut Grove that allowed the airline to establish routes to Latin America.

The terminal was designed in gorgeous late-Deco style known as Streamline Moderne, characterized by curves, long horizontal lines and, often, nautical elements -- perfect for a proud new seaplane airport.

Pan Am and its fleet of flying boats are long gone. But since 1954, the former terminal has lived on as Miami's City Hall.

The architectural and historical significance of the building were underappreciated for several decades of its use as a municipal building. But by the early 2000s, a complete restoration and modernization of the Moderne terminal was undertaken, returning it to its former glory.

Now a building that was instrumental in putting Miami on the map is set to serve as the home of city government for a long time to come.

Zach Patton -- Executive Editor. Zach joined GOVERNING as a staff writer in 2004. He received the 2011 Jesse H. Neal Award for Outstanding Journalism
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