The World’s Best Cities for Art Deco Architecture
New York, New York
Nowhere on this earth are there more iconic examples of Art Deco architecture than here in New York city. It’s because of this that it sits at the top of our list. The city experienced a huge growth spurt at the start of the 20th century, between the 1920s and 30s, this of course is when the Art Deco style was at the forefront of fashion, this is what makes it so such a predominant style amongst its historic skyscrapers, apartment buildings and cinemas to name a few, it can be seen all across the city still. The best examples are of course two of its most famous buildings, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building both featuring the style inside and out. Other great examples here include the Brooklyn Public Library, 1 Wall Street, the Western Union Building and Bryant Park Hotel to name a few.
Napier, New Zealand
Napier is a small city that sits on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island and houses 140 Art Deco buildings, making it easy to see why it’s the self-proclaimed Art Deco capitol of the world. After an earthquake that demolished much of the city’s commercial district much was quickly rebuilt. This happened in the 1930s which is why the style is so present here. All you need do when you arrive in Napier is head to the centre and you’ll come across many Art Deco delights, for the best specimens take a stroll down the Hastings, Emerson and Tennyson streets and you won’t be disappointed.
Germany’s capitol has plenty to offer for the Art Deco voyeur with a good number of examples of the architecture dotted across this huge city. It’s because of this however that they can be quite difficult to find, not to mention it being a rather daunting task. Your best bet is to stick to what was formerly West Berlin, the areas of Wilmersdorf and Charlottenburg being some of the best. Some of the most famous examples you will also find in Mitte including the Babylon Cinema and the Mossehaus building too.
New York may be the obvious choice for the style in the US but did you know that Miami, Florida also has some great buildings too? In fact, in South Beach you’ll find what’s known as the Miami Art Deco District which is of the best, not to mention most well-preserved, collections of Art Deco buildings in the world today. You’ll find most these on Ocean Drive, an avenue that faces the Atlantic. It’s something of a tourist honeypot, housing open-air eateries, elegant hotels and the Latin-themed nightlife that the area is famed for. In the Art Deco District, you’ll find somewhere around 960 buildings in the style, in 1979 it was declared a U.S. historic district which is why they are so well kept in their original designs. Check out The Colony, The Clevelander and The Breakwater for some of its most impressive facades.