The Historic Alfred I Dupont Building
The Historic Alfred | Dupont Building, FL
Event Site of the Year
The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building was inaugurated on a Christmas Day, 1939, offering a promise of economic recovery and signaling the conclusion of America’s Great Depression.
The Mezzanine level, formerly the headquarters of the Florida National Bank, became a special events venue in 2001. Details of the Depression Moderne-style architecture are some of the characteristics that make the venue’s two ballrooms one of the most sought after locations in the city.
The 22,000 square foot Mezzanine is completed with historic details including two bank vaults, hand-painted heart of wood ceilings, brass elevator doors and gates, five teller windows that are commonly used as bars and limestone walls that perfectly absorb diverse lighting schemes, creating desired impact. It is the perfect destination for a Miami Style event accented with New York glamour.
Rather than a cavernous event space absent of character, the stately yet unobtrusive ‘30s architecture complements each event it hosts. From corporate events and fundraisers to birthday celebrations, wedding ceremonies and receptions, the amenities of the venue are distinct, yet support the theme of any event.
As guests enter the venue’s North Ballroom from the brass-lined historical escalator, grand details such as the wall-to-wall Tennessee Marble floors and balustrades, brass scrollwork gates and grates, marble and limestone clad columns and hand painted wood ceilings welcome you. Along the west side of the Ballroom is the cash-vault and, right beside it, the immense and recognizable round-door Safe Deposit Vault that now serves as 1,500 square-feet of usable event space.
On the other hand, the South Ballroom serves as a blank canvas for any multitude of events. With almost 6,500 square feet of wide-open usable venue space and 30 foot-tall ceilings, the South Ballroom has been host to product launches, fashion shows, theatrical and musical performances, film screenings, distinguished lectures, classroom set-ups and Miami’s most elegant and exclusive private parties and wedding receptions.
Besides hosting an amount of extravagant weddings, Mitzvahs, sweet 16 and award ceremonies, 2014 is a big year for The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building as we have been preparing for its 75th anniversary which will be celebrated on December 25th, 2014.
To commemorate, we have partnered with non-profit organizations who embrace architecture, art, and historic preservation. On November 7th, AIA Miami (American Institute of Architects) hosted their annual Design Awards at our Special Event Venue. More recently, our venue was generously donated to the Wolfsonian-FIU where over 350 movers and shakers from all around the world, joined an evening of performance directed by Benjamin Millepied, an interactive preview of Van Cleef & Arpel’s new collection and dinner by famed Chef de Cuisine Daniel Boulud. Meanwhile, the Wolfsonian, known for its Art Deco collections, created an exhibit of the Alfred I. Dupont Building’s history, influence and significance to Miami.
On May 2015, Dade Heritage Trust will also do a series of publications and exhibits on the building’s history while we host the Annual Historic Preservation Awards Gala.
Moreover, some of the venue’s operation improvement includes the completion of a full service kitchen on the building’s first floor, a full service bar positioned behind the bank teller windows, often used by catering to serve drinks, and installing an air condition unit inside the iconic Safe Deposit Vault. There projects will be completed on early 2015.
Event Showcase one
Beaux Arts Ball – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Beaux Arts
“Rule number one: Always stick around for one more drink. That’s when things happen.” John Berendt, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
On Saturday, November 8, over 275 costumed and black-tie guests heeded the aforementioned festive rule of thumb by celebrating late into the night to raise funds for the 62nd annual Beaux Arts Ball – this year, carrying a” Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” theme.
Revelers’ head-turning, good-versus-evil garb, mixed with dramatic event décor, and amazing raffles and prizes collectively, resulted in one of the most exciting and successful Beaux Arts Balls to date. Funds benefit the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, along with Beaux Arts projects that introduce underprivileged children to the world of art.
Beaux Arts Ball President Becky McCarron, alongside Ball Co-Chairs Meredith Kallaher and Anne Beaumont Neithardt, made sure that all “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” guests were welcomed with extraordinary excitement and entertainment from the moment they entered The Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building – an incredibly apropos location to host such a spectacular event.
After climbing the building’s striking lobby staircase and entering the event space through an enormous, Savannah-inspired, wrought iron gate, guests mingled in a “Good” Auction and Cocktail ballroom, complete with mysterious white wire angels, green topiaries and white balloons, before being ushered into an “Evil” Dining ballroom, brimming with captivating blood-red table settings, glowing candelabras, and swamp moss-sprinkled centerpieces. Décor design and execution was spearheaded by the immensely talented and creative Beaux Arts member Coco Torre.
Miami’s oldest costume ball, featuring a sit-down dinner and dancing, drew brilliantly eccentric attire – including voodoo princess, the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who, and Austin Powers and Dr. Evil. Other creative costumes included a flock of black birds, angels and devils, and a group of creepy clowns – the evening’s costume winner because they were the perfect mix of good and evil.
Emcee Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard greeted guests, announced the raffle winners and paid homage to the longstanding organization – currently celebrating 63 years of service. She also emceed the Beaux Arts “Fund-a-Need” portion of the evening that raised more than $14,500, which will directly fund the organization’s outreach programs that seek to reach artists and children in our community to enhance art and art education. These programs have achieved acquisitions of over 50 pieces of art donated to the Lowe Art Museum, inspired over 25,000 children at the Beaux Arts Art Camp and Classes, hosted over 5,000 students from underserved schools for a day of art education and hands on art projects, and supported artists and student artists with recognition and aid.
Event Showcase two
Kat’s Sweet 16 Birthday, Think RED Inc.
In celebration of their daughter’s 16th birthday, Kevin and Kimberly Smith of Syntheon, LLC, the leading manufacturer and developer in the medical device industry, hosted friends, family and classmates of their daughter, Katherine, for an extravagant soiree at the Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building in Downtown Miami. The private event invited guests to enjoy an elegant dinner followed by an ultra-‐themed after-‐party featuring live entertainment, innovative catering, Paul Joachim, “The Chocolate Genius” and more.
Lasso the Moon Culinary Events, Inc., customized the menu, mixology and event design for the extravaganza transforming one of the DuPont Building’s second floor ballrooms into a stylish, “French Industrial Glam” abode with dramatic shimmering black tables, gold-‐ fluted vases and exotic foliage. Luscious white sofas, LED lit tables and vintage carnival letters transformed the after-‐party space, which featured a ‘wonkaesque’ play land with carousels of colorful confections. Teller stations were converted into ‘mocktail’ bars where liquid nitrogen and inventive libations were served.
Vocal sensation and winners of NBC’s Season 3 “The Sing Off,” Pentatonix, serenaded Katherine with “Happy Birthday” and performed tracks off of their latest album, “PTX Vol. 2.” The appearance included an exclusive first time live performance of the a cappella group’s rendition of Daft Punk.
AG Light and Sound, the international cutting edge production company, responsible for ULTRA & EDC, brought their expertise to build and transform the other DuPont ballroom with custom video walls, staging equipped with lasers, lighting and pyrotechnics for the event. Stages were carefully customized for Pentatonix and a world renowned EDM DJ who performed his longest contracted set – to date.
Think RED, Inc., the local event agency that spearheaded the planning and management of the event brought forth a series of unique, visual elements into every aspect of the event to exude a sophisticated yet ‘whimsy’ version of the acclaimed Ultra Music Festival. Guests were first alerted of the event through animated GIF text messages, followed by printed event invitations with never-‐before-‐seen UV ink technology, where recipients were instructed to use a black light, included in the package, to decipher the event message.
Xylobands, radio controlled LED wristbands, were handed out upon entry and adorned the wrists of each teenager. The Xylobands lit up to indicate the beginning of the after-‐party and directed guests to the second ballroom, where the lights synced to the beat of the music.
Event Showcase three
Wolfsonian – FIU Art Basel Gala, Van Cleef & Arpels
The Wolfsonian–Florida International University museum’s collections comprises approximately 120,000 objects from the period of 1885 to 1945—the height of the Industrial Revolution to the end of the Second World War—in a variety of media including furniture; industrial-design objects; works in glass, ceramics, and metal; rare books; periodicals; ephemera; works on paper; paintings; textiles, not to mention, The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building’s original Teller Windows from the former Florida National Bank completed in 1939.
Each year during Art Basel Miami, The Wolfsonian-FIU hosts an annual gala to raise funds for the museum. Meanwhile, in the looks for the perfect partnership to celebrate the Alfred I. Dupont Building’s 75th anniversary, ownership donated the Special Event Venue to The Wolfsonian-FIU.
After acquiring the perfect location and date, The Wolfsonian needed the perfect sponsor; and along came the prestigious jewelry “Maison” Van Cleef & Arpels.
18 months of planning, detailing and construction were just the beginning of what turned to be the most luxurious event of the year.
The annual event was turned into an unforgettable experience commencing with an exclusive premier performance of GEMS PART II by Benjamin Millepied’s L.A Dance Project at the Gusman Center. Guests were then ushered with a black carpet across Flagler Street, to then enter the unrevealed location: The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building.
The first hour and a half took place on the North Ballroom of the Venue, and it consisted on a cocktail hour accompanied by the inaugural of Van Cleef & Arpel’s newest collection. The exclusive jewels were carried by models that were gracefully positioned behind custom made magic mirrors, and inside the Cash Vault that had the optical illusion of being inside of a cut diamond.
Following the showcase, guests were seated on the South Ballroom where dinner by famed Chef de Cuisine Daniel Boulud, prepared a delightful four-course meal specially prepared to enhance the magic of the evening.
The next day, Van Cleef & Arpel’s clients had the opportunity to join a VIP showcase of the collection seen the night before.