Roney Plaza Hotel

2301 Collins Avenue

1940s

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Robert Frost taught classes at the University of Miami

Robert Frost taught classes at the University of Miami in the 1940s.

1935

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Robert Frost lectured at the Winter Institute of Literature

In 1935, Robert Frost lectured at the University of Miami’s Fourth Winter Institute of Literature. The lecture he delivered was entitled, "Before the Beginning and After the End of a Poem."

1940s - 1967

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José Agustín Balseiro was a Professor at the University of Miami

José Agustín Balseiro was a professor of Hispanic Literature at the University of Miami from 1946 until 1967.

1937

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Desi Arnaz auditioned at the Roney Plaza Hotel

Desi Arnaz got his first big break in 1937 by performing his most popular song “Babalu.” He was auditioning to be a singing guitarist at the Roney Plaza Hotel. A leader in Latin music at the time, Xavier Cugat, heard his audition and hired him as a vocalist. Shortly after he left Cugat’s orchestra and struck out on his own. (Sanders and Gilbert 1993:17) He formed a Latin band and performed at various locations, including the Clay Hotel, where, as the story goes, he launched the rhumba craze. The Roney Plaza Hotel was built in 1926 and remodeled in 1968. Currently, as the Roney Palace Condominium, the building is undergoing another major renovation. It shares a building with the Ganesvoort Hotel.

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