Frederick Douglass, a powerful and influential runaway slave, abolitionist, editor, and statesman, purchased this house in 1877. It was preserved as a memorial to Douglass after his death in 1895. The National Park Service restored the house in 1971-72, utilizing HABS documentation that had been produced in 1963-64. Today, the Frederick Douglass House is a popular and heavily visited site for those studying American history.
The southern end of Miami Beach contains a rich collection of Art Deco architecture, the most famous of which are a series of small hotels facing towards the beach. Larger and more flamboyant hotels were built after World War II as Miami Beach expanded to the north. By the late 1970s, development pressures threatened the Art Deco district. A group of local citizens recognized the uniqueness of the area and sought to preserve the architectural heritage the buildings represented. One of their approaches was to have HABS document the district in large format photographs. Those photographs were widely published and helped to generate national interest in the Art Deco district. Today, many of the buildings were restored to their original splendor as the area has been revitalized and once again become popular.
Begun in 1859 for the wealthy Scottish immigrant James A. Rankin but not completed until after the Civil War, this town house combines different building materials and details from a number of historical architectural styles. The ironwork shown here on the veranda is based on the Gothic architecture of medieval England and France. The Corinthian columns of the doorway behind it, on the other hand, call to mind the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. The Rankin House is an excellent example of eclecticism, the term used to describe the mixing of different styles and materials in buildings.
This 1916 battleship is the final resting place for many of the 1,177 USS Arizona crewmen who died on December 7, 1941--the day of the Japanese air attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Hit by a 1,760-pound bomb shortly after 8:00 a.m., the ship sank in less than nine minutes, leaving very little time for the crew to escape. By the end of the attack, the Pacific Fleet had lost many ships and more than two thousand personnel. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. The USS Arizona received National Historic Landmark designation in 1989.