Miami Beach, FL- Lincoln Road Mall, located in the heart of South Beach in tourist-centric South Florida, was named after Abraham Lincoln by the founding father of Miami Beach, Mr. Carl Fischer. The iconic road is over 100 years old and attracts people of all ages and backgrounds. On any day of the week, you will find crowds of pedestrians making their way up and down the stretch between Washington Avenue and Alton Road.
By the 40’s, Life Magazine declared Lincoln Road Mall “Luxury Lane”. Described as the Rodeo Drive of South Beach, Lincoln Road catered to the elite class who arrived to the strip in their stretched limousines to shop at resident stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Harry Winston Jewelers and Bonwit Teller.
Decades later, after losing popularity and business declined, Founteineblueau and Eden Roc legendary architect Morris Lapidus was contracted by the city to revamp the strip in 1959. Lapidus immortalized the road by adding fountains, pavers, gardens and grand shade structures in his well-known and highly esteemed Miami Modern architecture (“MiMo”) style. Lincoln Road became one of the nations first pedestrian malls after Lapidus made the bold decision of closing the road to traffic. Lapidus exclaimed, “I designed Lincoln Road for people- a car never bought anything.” Doug Kennedy of the Miami Herald reported on November 14th, 1960, “ Mall-most ready. The spanking new Lincoln Rd. Mall will open late this month — an ultra modern shoppers’ haven built at a cost of a half-million dollars. The mall runs from Washington Ave to Alton Rd., and will be a shopper-stroller center free of burdensome automobile traffic.”.
For most Miami Beach locals today, the site of the 1980’s mostly vacant strip, flooded with pigeons and elderly people being hauled around in tram’s is not far from memory. At the time, the big Lincoln Road giants were stores like Woolworth’s, Burdines and the unforgettable landmark, the Bank of America building with it’s large clock that has been the area’s time teller for decades. With the exception of the occasional in-line skater or the chanting of a passing Harikrishna, the strip was a ghostly abyss of closed shops and stuffy doctors offices for the sunny South Florida retiree.
As South Beach regained it’s popularity throughout the 90’s to today, Lincoln Road has been home to legendary institutes like the Miami City Ballet, Lincoln Theater, Colony Theater, New World Symphony, South Florida Art Center.
Today, Lincoln Road mall is a melting-pot of frou-frou stores like Armani, Banana Republic, and Versace mixed with more commercial stores like Forever XXI, H&M, and the Gap. The strip would not be complete without it’s vast array of restaurants for every foodie from cozy cafe’s to timeless restaurants like Rosinella and Yuka Restaurant. Lincoln Road is also filled with not so secret treasures like Books and Books, Miami Beach Community Church, and a weekly farmers market.