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Explore This Half-Glam, Half-Kitschy 1950s Hotel in Jamaica

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Welcome back to Monochromes, a Friday mini-series wherein Curbed delves deep into the Library of Congress's photographic annals, resurfacing with an armful of old black-and-white photos of architecture and interior design. Have a find you want to share? Hit up the tipline; we'd love to hear from you.


A pair of ceramic dolphins marlins frolic above the reception desk in a neoclassical lobby with midcentury furniture. A circular bar with glass walls has a ceiling covered in stylized seashells, while the bedrooms have floors of striped linoleum. Meet the Morris Lapidus-designed Arawak Hotel, which opened in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, in the mid-1950s, when the island was still part of the British West Indies (fun fact: Christopher Columbus first landed on this beach, in 1494). Parts of the Arawak Hotel are similar to more famous Lapidus projects of that era, like the Fontainebleau and Algiers hotels in Miami, but there are plenty of distinctive features too, like the striking triangular shelter at the entrance to the parking lot. The exterior is unremarkable, with its Floridian condo aspect, but thankfully the spectacular mishmash of styles that coexisted inside the hotel have been preserved for posterity:

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· Arawak Hotel, Jamaica [Library of Congress' Gottscho-Schleisner Collection]
· All Hotels posts [Curbed National]
· All Monochromes posts [Curbed National]