Another glimpse of Belle Isle when discrimination ruled Miami Beach

Vintage postcard shows pre-highrise Belle Isle

Belle Isle Blog found another historic postcard depicting the era of blatant discrimination on Belle Isle, again for the Belle Isle Court apartments, now known as Belle Isle Key.

The postcard, purchased on eBay, shows Belle Isle in the 1940s. It refers to “Gentile Clientele” in “quiet, exclusive surroundings.”

The postcard shows a Belle Isle entirely made up of  estates, except for the one apartment complex. It’s worth a closer look. The view is facing west.

Postcard depicts Belle Isle in the 1940s, “restricted clientele” only.

A post card acquired previously with the same image, which appears to be of a slightly later vintage (and with a more professional font) advertised “restricted clientele” at Belle Isle Court.

Both harken back to the era on Miami Beach during which Jews were banned from housing, an time that ended in 1947 when the Miami Beach City Commission passed an ordinance banning the practice.

That action happened after the end of World War II, when many Jewish servicemen who trained here returned to live. It capped a period during the 1930s and 1940s when such restrictions and signs were common on the beach.

4 responses to “Another glimpse of Belle Isle when discrimination ruled Miami Beach

  1. Thank you for giving us a sense of place.

  2. gustavo fernandez


  3. There was no small amount of discrimination, but it NEVER “ruled Miami Beach.” We have the world’s largest collection of “restricted clientele” memorabilia and while it abounded it never “ruled.”

    If you have questions, feel free to contact me at sbramson at bellsouth dot net.
    Mr. Miami Memorabilia

  4. Seth H. Bramson

    I just re-read the comments, and, folks, the commentary above is like the nonsense spouted by Miami’s walking fountain of MISinformation. Were there restricted clauses for some housing units? Absolutely. But Jews were never “banned” from housing. Further, the “Restricted Clientele” signs were NOT common. Please see my L’CHAIM! THE HISTORY OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF GREATER MIAMI or attend one of my talks on the history of discrimination in South Florida. I will be presenting that talk in Boca, at the JCC on Monday evening, Feb. 3rd, and if you are interested you will be my guest. OH! And Gustavo: there were no such signs such as the one you have suggested. Unlike the aforementioned and the queen bee, I deal only in documented truth and facts, not anecdotal evidence, which is the equivalent of no evidence. So I will also invite you all to my next talk, “Debunking the Greater Miami Myths” and the nonsensical, cockamamie “No Jews/No Dogs” signs is a perfect example of a horrible example.

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