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  • Writer's pictureA Swaine

The Creek Miami’s First Artist Designed Hotel

Updated: Jun 23, 2018

The Creek South Beach was unique among hotels on #MiamiBeach at the time when it opened. Purchased and developed by Ken Fields, it had been a dilapidated 1950’s motel that had been a rather infamous youth hostel called the Banana Bungalow for many years before. The hotel was reimagined as an #artists retreat, where all of the 90 some odd rooms were designed by different artists from around the country. Truth be told, some of the rooms were better conceived than others, the Gold Room in particular was simply fantastic. The Obey Giant Room by Shepard Fairey was very cool, and considering this was back in 2002, way before he was widely recognizable, made it something special. Although in the #graffiti department, one of the artist collectives that was invited in were the Ink Heads local Miami Crew. Almost definitely the first time a graffiti crew was given full reign over a hotel room to have at it. Oddly the room was peaceful and not as potentially loud and bright as it could have been.

Sadly the final fate of The Creek was a foregone conclusion, going back through the permit records at The City of Miami Beach Fields when he purchased the property also hired the architect Allan Shulman to re-design the property into condos. The property was sold with the development rights in 2005. The property languished for years before finally becoming an Aloft Hotel and then re-flagged as a Gates. The lobby and the bar from the original Creek hotel still exist and thankfully, while over built and not really staying true to the original plans, you can still get a small taste of the 1950’s by having a drink or getting a quick bite to eat.

While I try to go back through personal archives and ransack the internet for images, if you want the full list of artists from the first signature series installations at the hotel, check out The Creek Wikipedia page, it doesn't have every artist represented, but most of them.

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