Miami Beach Mansion destroyed by Fire

Throwback to 2009 when I did some “on-location reporting” from our boat in Miami Beach. Please note that the home was demolished after the fire and lot sat untouched for years.  The empty lot was listed for $25 million on November of 2015, it went through a few price changes and finally sold for $13.7 Million in January of this year (2018). #TBT



Friday Morning I woke up to news on Twitter that a Miami Beach Mansion was on fire.  After getting a link to CBS4News I could recognize one of the dragons from the roof top flames and new immediately it was “The Castle”.  There is a lot of hearsay about the house being abandoned and even in foreclosure.  What I know is that it was listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for $6,900,000 and does not show as a bank owned property.  The MLS description reads as follows:

Spectacular North Bay Road “Castle” with unique Architectural design features amazing downtown views! This property offers billiard room, home theater, and separate gym, indoor and outdoor pools with professional landscaping. This 10 bedroom, 7.5 bath residence boasts unforgettable city and bay views! Property is in need of restoration renovation. Excellent dockage for a large boat

Miami Beach Mansion - The CastleTalented local photographer and friend, Tanya Diaz, had documented The Castle a few weeks before and you can see the amazing photos at – I am so glad she was able to capture the essence of the place before it was all lost to fire. The Miami Herald states the following:

An abandoned mansion in Miami Beach once owned by the Windjammer Barefoot Cruises family was destroyed by fire Friday morning. Firefighters received a call at 8:09 a.m. about the fire at 4462 N. Bay Rd., north of Mount Sinai Hospital. The house was once owned by the owners of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, a longtime family business born after a night of drinking in 1947. Michael Burke woke up the next morning and found himself the owner of a $600 sailboat he named the Hangover. Capt. Mike Burke’s six children were later involved in the business. The company later went through financial troubles and in 2007, president Daniel Burke checked into a cheap hotel and died after a night of cocaine, Xanax and beer. The remnants of the business went to auction last year. Burke was living alone in the house in March 2007 when he sold it for $7.6 million to Antonio Rodriguez.

4462 N Bay Road – Miami Beach, FL

  • Listed for $6,900,000
  • 11,146 square feet of living space
  • Built in 1925
  • Lot size 145 X 175 – 25,425 square feet with 145′ of water frontage
  • 10 bedrooms / 7 bathrooms / 1 powder room

While standing there on our boat looking at the remains of The Castle, I felt a bit melancholic.  How many times did we show this property to people visiting Miami as the perfect representation of eccentricity?  You could smell the ashes and could still see smoke coming from the remains.  It was a Miami Beach Landmark and I’m sad to see it gone.

7 thoughts on “Miami Beach Mansion destroyed by Fire

  1. It was abandoned. It hasn’t been lived in for years. Funny, nobody really views this as a sad thing.

    The land is so spectacular that it was being held back by the hideous abomination of a house.

    This house was not architecture. It was a Disney attraction.

    Were you on a raft?

  2. Hi Troll- as much as I may agree with you about the hideous architectural abomination – I don’t think it’s up to you or me to judge – it’s what makes Miami Beach so great, it’s full of eccentricities, from the Disney type attraction to the Rococo Baroque wanna-be’s.
    For me, a house fire is always sad – its negative connotations are beyond expression.

    As for the raft – sometimes I navigate in our 65 Hatteras, sometimes it’s our 26′ speed boat, this time I borrowed the Green Goblin’s hovering glider for that whole floating effect 🙂

  3. Mariana – agreed, and this strange house was considered a landmark to many.

    Chris – so did I, although at least I have control in my own house 🙂

  4. The house was hideous and the only person who liked it was the owner who built it. I’m really sure that Calvin Klein’s house values will go up.

    See I’m not all caught up in being PC. It was hideous and everyone knew it.

    Landmark, no sideshow at a carnival is more like it.

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