The Huntington Building, also known as the Consolidated Bank Building, was constructed in 1925-1926. It came, like many other downtown Miami buildings, at the height of the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s. The Huntington Building was created by real estate developer Frederick Rand, who sought to develop Northeast 2nd Avenue into a substantial downtown center. It is noted particularly for eleven knight statues that occupy the rooftop, giving it a unique appearance. Today the Huntington Building houses offices and condominiums.
During the 1920s,
Florida experienced the phenomenon known today as the Florida Land Boom. It was
a period of mass migration, development, and land speculation in the Sunshine
State. Land prices and property values skyrocketed as Florida was inundated
with investors seeking to profit off the hundreds of thousands of people moving
to the state. With available land soon becoming scarce, high-rise buildings
began to be built in Miami’s downtown area. The mid-1920s saw the construction
of prominent commercial buildings such as the DuPont, Ingraham, and Congress
Buildings. In 1925, at the peak of the land boom, construction began on a new
building created by Frederick Rand.
Frederick H. Rand was
an attorney-turned-real-estate-developer who left Orlando and moved to Miami in
1916. He became very successful, developing subdivisions such as Broadmoor,
Edgewater, Miramar, and Highland Park. Rand also acquired all the land on Northeast
2nd Avenue from Flagler Street to 14th Street. He planned
to develop the area into a “Fifth Avenue” and make it a prosperous downtown center.
The implementation of his project began in 1925 with the construction of the
Huntington Building and Roosevelt Hotel. Rand’s plans subsequently came to an
end however, after a hurricane in 1926 left Miami badly damaged and hastened
the end of the Florida Land Boom. Frederick Rand would later go bankrupt when
the Great Depression began.
Construction of the
Huntington Building began in 1925 and was completed in 1926. It was named after
Frederick Rand’s sister, Elizabeth Huntington Rand. The primary architect of
the building was German-born Louis Kamper. While the majority of his designs
were in Detroit, he is known for designing the Huntington Building as well as
the Roosevelt Hotel. The Miami-based firm of Pfeiffer and O’Reilly also served
as associate architects. The thirteen-story building was designed in the Commercial style,
rare for downtown Miami. The exterior was given much detailing, and boasted a
unique roofline decorated with eleven statues of knights. Four statues of
winged griffins were included originally but later removed. At one point, the
knights were each painted a different color and illuminated in the evenings.
The building has been renovated a few times, including in 1943 and 1976,
however the original exterior remains mostly intact. In 1983 it was designated
a city historical site, and in 1989 it was added to the National Register of
Historic Places. Today the Huntington Building houses offices and condominiums.