Architecture in Miami is much more than beach homes, luxurious modern residences and glassed skyscrapers. From historical pastel-colored buildings in downtown, to Old World-style villas and Spanish colonial-style homes hidden in its neighborhoods, the distinct architectural styles represent the diverse layers of culture and history that reveal a multicultural and dynamic Miami.

Mainly, Spanish and Italian immigrants left a big mark in Miami architecture replicating some of the styles (mainly Mediterranean and Art Deco) of the Old World.

Let's see some examples.

Overlooking Biscayne Bay, the Vizcaya Museum ( www.vizcayamuseum.org ) is a Renaissance winter home that imitates an Italian villa. Originally, it had a dairy, chicken coop, mule stable and staff residences. Now, it is up to the visitor to imagine the ways of the old world in the new one.

Built in 1938, the Art Deco Building at 1401 SW 5th Avenue in the old Jewish neighborhood is an example of “ Modern Streamline” with its rounded contours, and vertical and horizontal lines.

Built by Reverend Merrick, Coral Gable's first developer, the Colonnade Building is another revival of the Mediterranean style. Its Rotunda is a popular place for receptions. During World War II the Rotunda was used by soldiers to practice parachute jumps.

It is up to the curious visitor to take his/her time to examine the variety of styles and discover Miami's hidden gems.