Did you watch Ryan Murphy’s newest TV extravaganza, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, this week? The show, which follows the events leading up to and aftermath of Gianni Versace’s murder, features an all-star cast and Versace’s actual mansion. Now a luxury hotel, the Miami enclave of the designer is basically a character on the show.
Built in 1930 by Alden Freeman, a rich guy who liked to travel a bunch, the structure was inspired by Alcazar De Colon, the oldest viceregal home in the Western Hemisphere. The building was originally a 24-unit apartment building, changing hands a few times and eventually falling into disrepair. Gianni Versace bought the building in 1992 along with the property next door which he demolished to build the pool, garden and South Wing.
Ryan Murphy shot a large part of the series in the hotel. According to the New York Post, shooting on the actual steps and in the home of the slain fashion icon was an emotional experience for the cast and crew. And from a practical perspective, being able to shoot in the hotel allowed them to recreate the house as it was in a way that wouldn’t have been possible on a soundstage:
“I don’t think I could have made the show if I couldn’t have gotten that house,” he says. “There was no way you could build [a set] of it. Two of the rooms were made out of seashells. [Gianni Versace’s sister] Donatella [Versace] took all the furniture and the art when she sold the house, but through pictures we were able to recreate them.
The opulent and unique property which was the backdrop for tragedy has become a popular Miami tourist attraction. You can only access the property by staying at the hotel or eating at its restaurant, but plenty of people flock to the building’s now infamous steps.
What did you think of the premiere? Will you be tuning in?