Venue Spotlight: The Historic Hampton House

April 9, 2021

The Historic Hampton House is a unique venue space with historic designation. The Legends’ Café, Mohammed Ali Pool Patio, and the MLK Ballroom provide an elegant venue space for all occasions such as weddings,
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One Night in Miami is a fictionalized take on the meeting of boxing legend Cassius Clay, civil rights activist Malcolm X, football star Jim Brown and soul singer Sam Cooke at the Hampton House on 27th Avenue just north of State Road 112 in Miami, Florida.

This hotel makes a great wedding or event venue because of it’s location and it’s uniqueness. And until the movie, it was undiscovered by most which makes it that much more attractive as a venue.

Some History About This Wedding and Event Venue

The 1960s were also a tumultuous time in Miami with racial inequality and segregation laws strictly enforced. While Ali had his star-making win in Miami Beach that night in 1964, he was not allowed to spend the night in Miami Beach because of Jim Crow’s segregation laws. He went instead to the Hampton House Motel in Brownsville, just outside of Liberty City on the mainland, to celebrate with his friend Malcolm X. It’s said that he enjoyed a bowl of ice cream to mark his big win. Ali also had a home in Brownsville that still stands today.

bar order

Malcom X converts Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali at the Hampton House. Circa 1964.

During this time, the Hampton House venue was the place to see and be seen in Miami’s black community.

While Miami Beach venues were in the spotlight for its musicians and nightclub acts, it was Liberty City and the Hampton House that the black performers returned to when the show was over. These musicians included Sammy Davis, Jr., Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, and many others. Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records stayed there.

Not only Ali, but other athletes also visited the Hampton House, including Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, and Althea Gibson. It wasn’t just a celebrity venue hangout, though. It was a hotspot for people of the neighborhood on weekend evenings and after church on Sundays.

man swimming

In 1960, 3 years before his famous oration in DC, Ali delivered an early version of his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech right here in Miami to a jam-packed room of people searching for hope at the Hampton House Hotel

The two-story, 50-room Miami Modern-style inn had a jazz club, restaurant, and a swimming pool. Martin Luther King, Jr. was famously photographed in his swim trunks enjoying a dip in the pool. While the Hampton House was a hotspot for entertainment and known as the “Social Center for the South,” it was also the sight for weekly meetings by the Congress for Racial Equality. Dr. King visited often during the early 1960s and delivered a version of his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Hampton House in 1960 before his legendary oration at the March on Washington in 1963.

The Hampton House Today

After undergoing a $6 million restoration, the Hampton House is ready to host any number of weddings and events in this undiscovered gem in the heart of Miami. The Legends’ Café, Mohammed Ali Pool Patio and the MLK Ballroom provide an elegant venue space for all occasions such as weddings, wedding receptions, corporate retreats, and so much more!