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Espanola Way Village History

Espanola Way Village, which is now so popular with tourists and locals, was a brainchild of William Whitman and N.Roney. It is conveniently located in the heart of Miami Beach. Originally named A Spanish Village, it was designed to copy creative and idealistic Spain and Paris Mediterranean Villages. When built, it was considered an ideal location for the wealthy, such as Harvey Firestone, J.C. Penney and Harry C. Stutz, to enjoy a secluded holiday.

However, in the 1920's the area became famous for gamblers like Al Capone, who developed a casino in rooms 128-138 of the Clay Hotel. In the 1930's, the area reverted to its original intent and became popular for its happy-go-lucky life style with street parties and other forms of entertainment.

By the time the 1970's rolled around, the area had sunk to dilapidated buildings and other disrepair. In the 1980's Miami pioneers, including Linda Polansky and Barbara Capitman, had a vision of restoring the area to its original bright and airy state. As a result, Polansky bought a large portion of the area, determined to restore it to its former splendor. The Polansky Restoration Group was able to accomplish this feat by 1986.

The entrance of the Hollywood producers of Miami Vice is what gave the area the extra boost needed to restore it to its original beauty. Other films made in this beautiful location include Chains of Gold, The Specialist, Burn Notice and The Birdcage. In addition, many TV Series scenes have taken place in this location. Some of these were Cool Runnin', Miracle Man, Free Fall and Brotherly Love.

A notable event also occurred when Dezi Arnez played at the Village tavern where he wrote and played the song "The Miami Beach Rumba".

Today, Espanola Way has not only been restored but also made more beautiful and popular than ever before. An ideal location to visit and enjoy.

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