Bancroft Hotel Ghost Sign in Miami Beach

Bancroft Hotel Ghost Sign in Miami Beach

Surrounded by posh hotels, restaurants and boutiques, the Bancroft Hotel sits vacant at 1501 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach. The building is a fine example of the Streamlined, late Art Deco style, eschewing decoration for Machine Age modernity.

Bancroft Hotel Ghost Sign in Miami Beach

Located just a couple of blocks from the beach, of course the entry terrazzo includes a wave motif:

Bancroft Hotel Ghost Sign in Miami Beach

Bancroft Hotel Ghost Sign in Miami Beach

Bancroft Hotel Ghost Sign in Miami Beach

According to the Miami Design Preservation League, the historic district in Miami Beach includes approximately 1,200 buildings, but I’ve found very little information about this one.

I did come across an amusingly negative review from a few years ago, and the back of this 1946 postcard boasts, “Private beach; Collins Avenue at 15th Street; new; modern completely fireproof; outside rooms; each with private bath and shower; elevator service; spacious terraces; patio; solarium; coffee shop; private parking space; European plan; open year round; newly added 60 deluxe terrace rooms.”

Bancroft Hotel Ghost Sign in Miami Beach


13 thoughts on “Bancroft Hotel Ghost Sign in Miami Beach

  1. Pingback: Art Deco Architecture in Miami Beach | Visualingual

  2. Honeymoond at Bancroft 1948..wonderful memories ..if open would revisit. midst of updated of others..sorry not back. Funny blog states ‘Ghost’ ..correct…not evil spirits.

  3. My husband’s Grandfather owned the Bancroft in the 50’s-60’s…when Miami took a big hit to tourism in the 70’s he couldn’t give the place away…heard it sold when it was vacant and run-down in the 80’s for 4+ million…now that it’s vacant again…not sure the price tag…Great Art Deco Bones!!!

  4. This post is out-of-date. I was at the hotel this past Xmas.
    The insides were totally gutted. The contractor showed me around. The inside will be a nice disco that fits the 5th Street beach scene with an eloquent bar. The hotel should have nice rooms. I don’t know how much it will cost for a night, but the hotel next door, the Shorcrest, the rooms go for $500 a night.
    When I was there, I wish I had taken some pics. The scene was totally eerie.
    I’ll probably be there next Xmas to see how it turned out. This time, I’ll have my camera.

  5. Max, this post is 2 1/2 years old. It just documents what I happened to encounter at a given point in time. It’s great to hear that something is finally being done with this building, and I’m sure that Ann W. will be happy to have an update.

    Everyone, thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

  6. It was July 20, 1969 when I vacationed at the Bancroft Hotel with my wonderful Aunt Lucy and Uncle Frank, along with a cousin. It was 2 months away from my 12th birthday! I learned how to swim in the pool a couple of years earlier, and enjoyed the best time at the hotel’s private beach! I discovered Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and ate the yummiest, velvety smooth chocolate pudding. We saw Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon on tv in the hotel lobby! Very fond memories, indeed! Time stood still in that lobby!

    Then, in 1980, my boyfriend and I drove to Miami. At 2am, I instantly recognized the Avenue and spotted the dilapidated Bancroft Hotel. We parked the car, walked around the abandoned building to the back where I remembered the pool was located. It was sad to see it’s deterioration that night, then we walked over to see the beach. I will always remember it’s vibrancy and the joy with my family!

  7. My family, parents, sisters, aunts and cousins would rent multiple rooms and take 3 month vacations at the Bancroft Motel, in a building that was sadly demolished the was next to the remaining Bancroft Hotel building. It had several floors and a long balcony/terrace that stretched the length of the building with beach chairs outside the motel doors. We would sit outside and make friends summer after summer, starting when I was about 9 years old, from about 1974 to 1980, meeting other kids vacationing from New York and other northern states. The pool had a tiki hut where you could eat grilled hamburgers with potatoes chips by the pool. There were stairs leading down to the beach. The lobby had a painted red payphone in a phone booth, and there were ping-pong tables. The basement had a projection screen and movies and cartoons were played at night i.e.. “Gone With the Wind.”
    We were there when the sand was soft and when the shoreline receded, with waves hitting the seawall on the neighboring hotel at high tide. I remember when Miami Beach refurbished the sand and there were conveyor belts on the sand, dredging sand (and occasional conchs) from the ocean, creating “quick sand” areas where the sand had not settled. We would laugh when we sank, and our sisters and cousins would pull us out of the sinking sand.
    The Bancroft Hotel, across the other side of the parking lot, had a lobby where we would meet and play pin-ball, play cards at the card tables, and play bingo. We would walk nightly to eat ice-cream nearby or eat at Wolfies. Lincoln Road had a tram to take you back and forth. My parents owned Goodies Deli a block away for many years.

  8. My fanily use to go stay there in the winters after the war, 1945 1946 . That was the area to stay in those years. It was great. Have fond memories.

  9. It is really sad for me when I see the Bancroft nowadays, as it was my first real job after I got to the USA from Cuba in 1960. I had no experience working in an office or any clerical job other than translating newsreels for a small TV station in Havana, but David Diamond, who managed the hotel (I believe his father owned it), decided to give me a chance. I worked as switchboard operator/secretary, since I could type and, especially, because I spoke perfect English and Spanish, and Mr. Diamond was trying to build up the hotel’s clientele from Latin America. I have nothing but good memories from the Bancroft. We were an eclectic bunch who got along very well, and we had the best boss in this God’s earth. Mr. Diamond had to be one of the gentlest, kindest of souls; he was always respectful and a gentleman, and working for him was a privilege for this poor refugee who came to the States with only a good education and two kids. I hope someone in his family gets to read this, so they can take pride in his memory.

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