Thursday, June 23, 2011

Florida History: Fort Lauderdale's Yankee Clipper ... "something new in architecture"

Yankee Clipper, a B Hotel and Resort today

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By Jane Feehan

A number of hotels went up along Fort Lauderdale beach in the 1950s including the iconic Yankee Clipper that remains today. Gill Construction built the hotel; the concept was the brainchild of prolific architect M. Tony Sherman of Miami.

Sherman designed the 130-room Yankee Clipper to appear as an ocean liner. The $1.5 million hotel opened during the summer of 1956 and drew locals and tourists with its 400 foot beach, pool with portals visible from the Wreck Bar, a Polynesian review, and stellar dining. 

During the same time this project was underway, Sherman designed the 300-room Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, additions to the Reef Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale and the Castaways Hotel in North Miami Beach.  During the early 50s, the architect designed the Jolly Roger Hotel on the Fort Lauderdale strip as well as the building for nearby Causeway Realty.  Sherman also left his imprint on another Gill Construction project of the time, Lauderdale Isles. 

Sherman died in 1999. As of early December, 2014, the Yankee Clipper Hotel is now an InSite Group property. It will operate in affiliation with B Hotels and Resorts as the B Ocean Resort. Renovations are planned.  Let's hope they will continue the mermaid shows at the famous Wreck Bar.

Miami News, June 24, 1956. (Google archives)
Miami News, Oct. 23, 1955. (Google archives)
The American Institute of Architects

Tags: Fort Lauderdale history, hotels in Fort Lauderdale, Florida architects, Tony Sherman, Fort Lauderdale in the 1950s, hotel history Fort Lauderdale

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