Resorts: Coming on Down

It was billed as the "World's Largest Birthday Cake"—32 ft. high, 75 ft. across and 20 tons heavy, topped by 50 electric candles. But it wasn't really a cake at all; it was made of steel and latticework and 30,000 growing plants. And this outsize inedibility was quite fitting. For the 50th birthday it celebrated was that of the wonderfully unreal stage show called Miami Beach.

Confections in Concrete. On March 26, 1915, when it officially became a city, Miami Beach was not much more than a spit of sand across Biscayne Bay...

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