Miami’s Tom Austin Authors The Surf Club, Assouline’s Latest Coffee Table Book

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A very interesting book just hit the market. It is called The Surf Club. Published by Assouline, this is the perfect gift as a coffee table book and has quite an interesting story behind it. Of course, I have it for you.


I ran into Tom Austin and Patrick McMullan on Lincoln Road on Monday Night. Tom and Patrick had just come from Books & Books, for the signing of The Surf Club, that Tom was coincidentally the Author of. He tells me “Assouline needed someone to chronicle the path of this place. I’ve been around for an eternity and covered society in the 80’s for the Herald and I had been to the club as well. Starting in the 1930’s, The Surf Club was a place for celebrities and high-line society. Then became a place for Detroit society, all the owners of the car companies, entertainers from Liberace to modern society like the Sayfie family and Don Shula who were most recently members.”

What is most fascinating is the story behind the book. Austin tells me that “Before WWII, the government gave the hotels quick notice and filled hotels and especially private clubs with service members. The management took the archive, founding papers signed by Carl Fisher and his contemporaries, and threw them in the basement. Eventually the documents were covered by sand, which miraculously preserved everything in the archive, as if it were archaeological. Then one day the ballroom needed a new floor, so amidst the renovation the documents were uncovered and discovered, then came this project. The project was basically handed to me after every member signed off on it, and voila, here it is.”




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