In 1921, pineapple plantation owner T. V. “The Pineapple King” Moore opened a large furniture store on NE 40th Street, meant to provide furnishings for his farm workers who resided in the Buena Vista area. From that furniture store, the Buena Vista neighborhood soon became the part of Miami where residents went to buy their home decor from any of the dozens of businesses that had popped up in the area.
This was the first incarnation of the Design District (NE 36th St. to NE 42nd St. between NE 2nd Ave. and N. Miami Ave., www.miamidesigndistrict.net), which, like much of Miami, fell on incredibly hard times in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, the efforts of visionary developers like Craig Robins—inspired by what had taken place in South Beach—transformed the area from a dilapidated warehouse district into a locus of contemporary decor and art that’s as recognized for its retail offerings as it is for its historic flavor.
Shops in the Design District are pricey, and many of them sell items and services that are intended for living spaces rather than carry-on souvenir bags, but even if you only take home inspiration about how to rethink your own domicile, a visit to the district will have been more than worth your while.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition