Miami’s first Art Deco style building is the Scottish Rite Temple located next to Lummus Park in downtown Miami. From the “Preliminary Designation Report”, written by City of Miami’s Historic and Environmental Preservation Board:
On July 21, 1922, the Scottish Rite Masonic Center contracted builder John B. Orr who accepted the commission without earning any profit for himself. Kiehnel and Elliott was the prominent architectural firm that designed the building.
According to the American Institute of Architects, AIA Florida Top 100 Buildings: “Well before the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs in Paris that gave Art Deco its contemporary name, Scottish Rite Masonry laid the cornerstone for its building in October 1922. Employing abstracted and stylized decorative elements from Egyptian and European history, and a simplified form of Neoclassicism, Kiehnel and Elliott’s design was an early harbinger of Modernism in Miami. The two-headed eagles on the entablature above the façade’s four Doric columns are symbols of the Scottish Rite, and the number is that of this lodge. The pyramidal roof, based loosely on the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, was a popular motif for civic temples, and was also used to crown the Dade County Courthouse.”