Taj Miami – A Rare Cultural Jewel in the Heart of Brickell


They say those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, but who has actually lived in a glass house as fabulous as this one? You’d never throw anything here, except perhaps a glance to amazing vistas of Miami and Biscayne Bay from your patio in the heavens.

One of Miami’s most unique properties, this three-story glass house, perched atop the Palace Condominium on Brickell Avenue, has a quirky cultural history. In 1981, Leona and Harry Helmsley were about to call this their sky residence when Saudi Sheik Saoud Al-Shaalan purchased the property and converted the already stunning structure to a Mughal Palace.

Twenty-seven Moroccan craftsman and two years later, the interior of this 40 foot-high glass cube became nothing short of a wondrous historical enclave amid the contemporary towering high-rises of Brickell Avenue – traces of Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture inform the interior.


Unfortunately, the Sheik rarely visited this work of art he could have called home, but in 1999 international real estate developer antique weapons expert Anthony Tirri purchased the glass house, adorning it with Muslim weapons, furniture and art. Mr. Tirri has since moved on to Paris, where he has remodeled an 1135 chateau named after renowned French author Alexander Dumas.



This grand residence now awaits a new homeowner who would relish in one of Miami’s most lavish and culturally inspired properties.

Eccentric, to be sure, but it’s not the first time visionaries have created what may seem outlandish here in the tropics.  In 1925, millionaire publisher Randolph William Hearst had an entire 12th century Spanish monastery delivered stone by stone to the United States, which you can now see, fully reconstructed, in North Miami.  And from 1923-1951, a man named Ed, obsessed with unrequited love, carved a castle from 1,100 tons of coral rock in south Miami-Dade, all in tribute to his distant paramour.

Great things have been built in the name of love and the analogy is not lost at Taj Miami – after all, its inspiration, the Taj Majal in India, was built entirely of white marble by 17th century Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal.


Romance of life, love and architecture is alive and well in this property, gleaned in the exquisite details of the mosaic tile, carving and plaster work throughout the space. Soaring above one of Miami’s most dynamic and historic neighborhoods, the Taj Miami soaks in sunrises and sunsets with a cross-cultural touch.

To learn more about the property, visit ONE | Sotheby’s website

– Maria de los Angeles is a freelance wordsmith based in South Florida.

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