A home that provided the backdrop for a 1964 photo shoot with the Beatles is up for demolition, according to a notice placed in the Miami Herald this month. That possibility has some people reminiscing about old times and others whispering "historic preservation."
On the heels of their release of "I Want To Hold Your Hand," the Beatles kicked off their first tour in America in February of 1964 and surfed Beatlemania all the way down to Miami Beach. They spent eight days here — the longest they spent anywhere on the tour.
During that time, Life magazine nabbed them for a photo shoot at a house on North Bay Road in Miami Beach. The photograph, which ran on the front page of the magazine, shows the four Beatles neck-deep in a pool — judging by the expression on their faces, the water is not warm.
“I don’t want to see [the house] go down,” says Paul George, a historian with HistoryMiami and professor at Miami-Dade College. "But I’m not even sure that the visit would give this house the cachet and legitimacy it needed to be called an historic house. [For] most preservation boards, if the owner opposes designation, you’re not going to be able to designate it.”
But the current owner is looking to demolish the building.
Even though there’s little hope for the house, its architect Melvin Grossman won’t be erased from Miami. He also designed the Deauville hotel on South Beach, where the Beatles were featured for a second time that month on the Ed Sullivan Show.
That month in 1964 marked one of the most historical periods of time in Miami History. In addition to the Beatles’ trip, Muhammad Ali — then known as Cassius Clay — won the heavyweight championship and Jackie Gleason moved his TV show to Miami. That month put Miami Beach place on the map.
The Sun Sentinel has more about that day back in 1964.
Here is the Beatles' second performance on the Ed Sullivan Show filmed in Miami Beach.