04/18/2012 05:52 pm ET Updated Jun 27, 2012

Fontainebleau Hotel Voted Best Building In Florida In American Institute of Architecture Competition (PHOTOS)

The people have spoken -- 2.8 million of them in fact -- and the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach was voted the best building in the state in a competition hosted by the Florida division of the American Institute of Architecture.

The millions of voters chose from 100 buildings, narrowed down from more than 250 entries from the institute’s 13 Florida chapters. South Florida led the pack with 22 buildings between Miami, Coral Gables and Miami Beach.

That came as no surprise to Vicki Long, the executive vice president and CEO of AIA Florida: “You just have a vision in your mind when you think of Miami and South Beach and the Art Deco and the skyline," she told HuffPost Miami. "It’s just fabulous.”

The Fontainebleau, which also won in the hotel category, opened in 1953 and was designed by Morris Lapidus with signature design elements such as circular ceilings, bowtie tile elements, and a “stairway to nowhere.” In 2008, the hotel underwent a $1 billion renovation to restore the building's mid-century glamour.

View the slideshow below to see how the runners-up ranked.

The competition, which asked both architects and non-architects to vote, was held in honor of AIA-Florida’s 100th anniversary.

However, no contest comes without outcry. No building in St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, made the top 100 list.

“The folks in St. Augustine were upset,” Long said. “They started a couple write-in campaigns.”

Thanks to those angry efforts, the city’s Ponce de Leon Hotel/Flagler College ended up winning the write-in category.

Other buildings also made the cut in specialized categories, such as the Cinderella Castle in Disney World for recreational and Tampa’s Dali Museum for museums.

“I think one of the great things about Florida is each geographic region has a different style,” Long said. “We have an awful lot of variety and diversity in this state, and I think this competition has celebrated that variety and diversity.”

(Flickr photo by Joevare.)

Click below to view select rankings and the entire top 10:



Top 100 Buildings In Florida