Suggested treatment with Batchelder Tiles, dome ‘A’ of Opa-Locka Administration Building, pencil and colored pencil on tracing paper. Signed “Bernhardt Muller Architect,” 1926.

Click image to enlarge.

By Bernhardt E. Muller, Architect.

Developer Glenn Curtiss and architect Bernhardt E. Muller created an architectural fantasy when they based their designs for the city of Opa-Locka on tales from The Arabian Nights. However, due to the Hurricane of 1926 and the following Florida State real estate crash, a great portion of the construction plans were never followed through. Twenty of the existing buildings are now in the National Register of Historic Places.

The drawing of dome ‘A’ suggests a sample of how the Batchelder tiles could be used. Batchelder was a tilemaker in the 1920s who greatly influenced the arts and crafts movement. Inspired by the story of “The Two Sisters who envied their Cadette,” the Administration Building represents the Palace of King Kosroushah. Constructed in 1926 with some variations from this drawing, the building was restored in 1987 and serves today as the Opa-Locka City Hall, located at 777 Sharazad Avenue.

From the Bernhardt E. Muller Collection.