dania beach postcard

The Dania Beach Hotel was built in 1925, during the Florida land boom, and was designed by renowned architect Francis Abreu. He is best known for his architectural style of using barrel tile roofs, twisted columns, arched walk-ways, antique lanterns, iron gates and heavy dark wooden doors. It’s also interesting to note that the hotel survived through the devastating Miami hurricane of 1926, which had caused $157 million worth in damages, which estimates to about $1.7 billion today.

During it’s heyday, it was a popular destination for tourists heading to the beach, the surrounding Downtown area, and the Dania Beach Jai-Alai across the street, with some stories even claiming that Al Capone once stayed here.

In 2000, the property was granted historic designation by the city. As years passed though, the condition of the hotel deteriorated and the owners were given numerous citations for failing to maintain the property. The hotel’s condition worsened until it was declared unsafe and forced to close in 2005. The 40 tenants living there at the time were evicted, most of which were single men, some with mental illnesses, who scrapped by on low-paying jobs.

The city forced the owners to board up the building after squatters were found living inside. For years, city officials have wanted to bulldoze the surrounding neighborhood, where drug dealers and muggers loved hanging out at. The owners, hoping to sell the property to potential developers, have racked up more than $72,000 in code enforcement fines since it closed.

In early 2009, the City Commission agreed to waive the outstanding code enforcement fines under the condition that the owner demolishes the structure within 90 days. Demolition costs were initially projected to cost $40,000, but increased to an estimated $110,000 after asbestos was found inside the building. Not being able to adhere to the conditions, the city requested a foreclosure on the property in an attempt to recover the outstanding lien.

On July 2011, the Pirate’s Inn hotel, located just down the street, was demolished in an attempt to restore the downtown area and to build something new in it’s place. Built in 1939, it was a historic landmark for some residents, an eyesore for many others. The Dania Beach Hotel was slated for demolition soon after.

As of February 2012, the Dania Beach Hotel has been demolished.

Dania Beach Hotel | Photo © 2011 Bullet, www.abandonedfl.com


  1. Thanks for sharing, this was very interesting.

  2. Sad to see… It was a great hotel in it’s day. I grew up in this place when my Dad ran it.

  3. Another Developer and owner of piece of Florida designated a “historic landmark” wins “demolition by neglect.” You’re doing a great service with this website. BIG THANKS!!!

  4. Adam TheWOO says hey and Great site :)

  5. Lived there as a boy w my parents, sister, aunt, uncle and cousins in the 1950′s, after my father and uncle restored and renovated it.

    Built by the same world famous architect and at about the same time as the Dania Beach Hotel, this home is now selling for nearly 6 million dollars (u can clearly recognize the same style):


    But the city of Dania, which foreclosed on it, wouldn’t save the hotel, even though it was recognized as an historical landmark in FL.

  6. It was a Florida historic landmark,a prime example of 1920’s Spanish/Mediterrean revival architecture.Instead of demolishing it ,they should have made the owners bid it of on auction and it would have made a great hotel like a Days Inn since it is so close to the airport.and now what just have all these empty lots hanging around,that sure would not bring revenue to the city.I sure hope someone buys the land where the Pirate’s Cove was and makes a hotel like a Hampton Inn there with restaurant/bar on the bottom floor that would .It is so close to the airport that would bring revenue to the area.Now that they are expanding the airport they should make Dania’s historic downtown, into an arts and entertainment district like Las Olas Blvd since it is so close to the airport.You can’t just live of antique stores anymore you need restaurants,bars,boutiques like so many others have and picked it up:Delray Beach ,Ybor City,etc ,actually if this would have happened there would have not been a need to demolish the hotel,it could have even been a great antique or design mall.

  7. albert siniscalco

    it is sad to see little Dania bch going the way of most of the other cities here in s. fla, tearing down it;s historic buildings. Casa Bella restuarant at 129 n. federal hw. built in 1912 was just torn down also. Surely there is some way to redevelopement without so much destruction to our history. VERY SAD!

    • agreed,seems Dania in a desperate bid for revenue just wants to demolish everything.The city commisioners do not realize that historic brings in tourists.There are other cities in Browrd county and else where in Florida ,that have kept their historic downtowns.For example what would Coral Gables,Palm beach or Boca Raton be without their historic downtowns? Too many historic buildings have been demolished keep what is left.I personally, have nothing against modern ,but keep the historic as well.

  8. what is going to go up in that vacant lot? now that the hotel is gone ,I sure hope they put a Walgreen’s or CVS pharmacy there ,it is a great location for one including the parking space.

    • Supposedly, the city already had a buyer lined up and a mall/hotel was to be built on the Pirate’s Inn and Dania Beach Hotel lots with a bridge connecting the two. But I guess time will tell if any of that is even true.

  9. Does anyone know what will happen to the Frost House? Hope the city buys it and turn it into a museum or a municipal building,I think a city library would be great there.Other cities in Broward have bought historical homes and estates such as the historic Richardson Estate in Wilton Manors and others….

  10. I can see the Pirate’s Inn being called an eye sore by the Mayor,but to call the Dania Beach Hotel an eye sore ,actually I liked the Spanish/Mediterranean revival architecture of it ,and I think it would have been very pretty all decked up,with a fountain in front ,but greed for lots in Dania’s prime real estate locations won.I sure hope they put a much needed CVS pharmacy or gas station in that prime location the lot has room for plenty of surrounding parking spaces.Now where the Pirate’s Inn was it is a prime location on the corner of Federal Hwy and Dania Beach Blvd,great location for a hotelwith cafeteria on the bottom like a Denny’s ;like a Hampton’s Inn since it is so close to the airport,great site for hotel for airlines personal such as stewarts and piltos to stay since it is so close to the airport.I think Dania Beach due to its proximity to the airport,I-95,etc; could become the next up and coming place like Las Olas Blvd in Fort Lauderdale and the house prices in the surrounding area would go up.If the Dania Jai-Lai ever opens a casino such as Harrod’s,it would be an added bonus.

  11. This is the hotel financed by A. J. Ryan Sr., correct?

  12. Several weeks ago I spoke to one the contractors involved in the new building that is going on to the site. He was photographing the beautiful old trees that were still on site before they were cut down. He told me that they’re constructing a two hundred unit apartment building. They finished installing chain link fence around the site Monday. He and I agreed that it was a shame to cut down the oak that sat behind the old Dania hotel, but the building will cover most of property. After they cut it down I was able to count 70 rings in the stump and that appeared to be only about half of them.

  13. I had many great times here, lived here. worked here, and even got drunk here. Will be sadly missed, what a shame to tear down such a great historic place!!