Let’s take a trip back in time to 1953. This was the year that the Sinbad Motel first opened it’s doors for business. The unique architecture was designed by renowned architect Tony Sherman. The story behind the design is that it was done in a way to resemble a ship. The reason for this is due to the fact that Biscayne Bay was fully visible from the motel in the 1950s. The name was inspired by Sinbad The Sailor which was a popular middle eastern film made in 1947.
Our bright neon signs are still the original ones used 60 years ago but have been recolored. During the 1950s US Route 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) was a major highway that eventually stretched from Key West to New York. Essentially Biscayne Boulevard was the only road that connected Downtown Miami to North Miami (I-95 didn’t exist). After the road was created business grew rapidly, and land started to sell like hotcakes.
In 1964, Hurricane Cleo passed through Miami Florida, and it took along our highly acclaimed symbol with it. The bird flew away with the wind gusts, kind of ironic. On the front side of our building you’re able to see a telescope like pole ascending into the blue skies. You might’ve wondered “What is this doing here?” To truly capture the ambience of America at the time, it was made to hold a very important token, a metal bird. The bird symbolizes eternal freedom, to us it symbolized the American Dream, Reaching New Heights. It also added to the overall theme of Sailing, because a Sailor is usually known for being accompanied by a bird.
Fast forward 10 years later to the 1970’s, the previous owners had it replaced with a star. This star was used as the cover for REM’s hit album “Automatic for the People.” When it was released, it quickly soared through the charts selling over 18 million copies worldwide.
We purchased the property on February 1st 1984, on this day Paul McCartney’s song “Pipes of Peace” was in the top 5 hits in the UK, and Ronald Reagan was the POTUS. Our motel has so far witnessed the service of 10 Presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.
In August of 1992, a Category 5 Hurricane by the name of Andrew blew through Miami. We made it out of safely, although extensive damage was made to half of our rooms as well as our roof, including destroying our star. We stuck through it and potentially never gave up.
In 1995, Antonio Banderas, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Mia Farrow were casted for the filming of Miami Rhapsody. If you watch the movie, our motel appears in the scene where Antonio Banderas is going to his motel room. 4 years later, another iconic movie was filmed in Miami called Random Hearts starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas. Our motel manifests its architectural beauty during the scene where Harrison Ford is driving down US #1 in a taxi cab with Kristin Scott Thomas. For the past 15 years we were able to watch the media industry revolutionize into a completely modernistic approach. During this time, a wave of creativity had sparked, people began to think outside of the box. Multiple photoshoots have also been done at our motel for different magazines such as Anthony Mackie’s feature in Ebony Mag.
Sinbad Motel is unique, historic, and most importantly an icon. It has been passed down for 3 generations now, and has been owned and operated by the same family for the last 32 years. Join us in our journey of becoming a one of a kind boutique style motel while preserving its celebrity name, and architecture hopefully within the next 2 years. Follow us on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, username: @SinbadMotel for more content on events happening in Miami, ways to help the community, local eateries, and nightlife. Thank you for your patronage! – Sinbad Motel Management