Waking the Sleeping Beauty: An Update on the Hampton House


Photo courtesy of History Miami

“It was like something from your imagination, like the Sleeping Beauty movie, when the castle is covered with vines,” architect Daphne Gurri Matute said when she first saw the two-story, 30,000-square-foot MiMo-style Hampton House in 2006 (McNamara 2010). Gurri’s architectural firm, Gurri Matute, was chosen by the Historic Hampton House Community Trust (HHHCT), the organization that preservation leader Dr. Enid Pinkey helped create in 2002, to renovate the Brownsville motel that was first known as the Booker Terrace Motel when it opened in 1954.

Footage of the Hampton House under its original name the Booker Terrace Motel August 10th, 1958.

Approximately 30 years of debris and overgrown trees have been cleared from the Hampton House property, which was designated a historic landmark in 2002. Workers also repaired the building’s sloping interior walls and resurfaced the exterior facade of the structure back to its original MIMO splendor.

Preservationists have recovered numerous original design elements including wrought-iron railings, pink and green terrazzo-style tiles, and more than half of the hotel’s original room numbers. These features have been restored and will be used within the newly renovated motel including the “suite” which was rumored to be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s favorite room.

Martin Luther King Jr. news conference at the Hampton House April 14th, 1966.

When the $7.5 million dollar project is completed, the HHHCT plans to open the restored Hampton House as a music museum and local cultural center. “There will be a community room for people to have wedding receptions and parties and social events,” Pinkney said. “We hope to have a restaurant and gift shop, and a space for local educational institutions to hold music classes”(McNamara 2010). The Hampton House is expected to open in March of 2015.

-Ursa Gil

An earlier version misspelled architect Daphne Gurri Matute’s name and the name of her firm, Gurri Matute. We sincerely apologize for these errors.


The Other Side of Miami – National Trust for Historic Preservation. (2010, February 15). Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.preservationnation.org/magazine/story-of-the-week/2010/hampton-house-motel.html

HistoryMiami. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://historymiami.org/

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