Historic Hampton House
The Historic Hampton House was once a thriving place for African Americans to gather and socialize during the 1950s and 1960s. It consisted of a motel, restaurant, and jazz club. African Americans were not allowed to stay anywhere on Miami Beach, so this was the only place where they could find a motel room or get together. Numerous black celebrities and historical figures frequented the Hampton House including Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Althea Gibson, Sammie Davis Jr., and Sam Cooke. King often came here to meet with the Congress of Racial Equality to discuss approaches to confront segregation laws. The House was also a place where whites and blacks could freely intermingle. Today, the building has been restored and is now community social and business center, featuring a museum, ethnic dance rooms, a recording studio, business offices, and exhibition space.
Backstory and Context
The Markowitz's sold the property in the 1970s and after that, it went into decline as a result of integration; the Hampton House lost its luster and people began to go elsewhere. It fell into disrepair and soon vagrants moved in. Calls for restoration began in 2001. These efforts culminated in the grand reopening in 2015.
Hanks, Douglas. "For Hampton House, a return from history." Miami Herald. May 8, 2015. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article20557536.html.
Photo: Miami Foundation