city of miami

Efforts Underway to Save Historic Landmarks, Buildings in Miami-Dade

Several efforts are underway to ensure Miami's historic buildings and landmarks are part of the city for years to come

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If you've taken a walk or ride around Downtown Miami, you might have noticed a mix of old and new buildings.

Every day though, it seems as if more cranes are in the sky to accommodate Miami's growing population. Some fear the city’s older buildings and neighborhoods are becoming increasingly threatened by new development.

"I conduct with HistoryMiami umpteen tours every year. I find myself increasingly on the tour saying, well there was a building over there that was built in the 1920s, but unfortunately it went down three years ago," said Dr. Paul George, resident historian at HistoryMiami. "I think it’s a huge loss. It weakens our sense of place, a sense of who we are, a sense of where we've come from."

George said Miami is continuing to lose older homes and buildings because of the relocation boom during the pandemic.

"We had a lot of folks in New York and other areas moving down here and in some cases, buying and then demolishing and building anew," said George. "A lot of people will buy something that's on the waterfront but feel like it's really not enough of what they wanted."

There are regulations in place to protect historic buildings that were enacted in the wake of high-profile demolitions by developers over the past few decades, including the iconic New Yorker Hotel, which was built in the 1940s and destroyed in 1981. It is now the Lowes Hotel

Soon, another well-known historic building could be gone.

The Deauville Beach Resort, which has been closed since a 2017 electrical fire, is in danger of being demolished after years of neglect by its owners. City inspectors are recommending it be torn down.

Now, the city says they have hired independent inspectors to do their own review of the building.

In the 1960s, the Deauville was the place to be. The Ed Sullivan show once telecast a Beatles appearance live, and Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Tony Bennett have also performed at the resort.

Some are still hoping to save the Deauville.

A large group gathered on Wednesday in front of the resort calling for the Deauville to be saved.

This is just one of several efforts underway to ensure Miami's historic buildings and landmarks are part of the city for years to come.

For the Dade Heritage Trust, one of the organization’s top priorities is the restoration of the Miami Marine Stadium.

"The Marine Stadium is such an iconic structure and venue in the city of Miami," said Christine Rupp, executive director of Dade Heritage Trust. "We've been working with the city of Miami and other advocacy organizations trying to see this thing come to fruition for about 15 years now."

The stadium was built in 1963 as the first-ever venue for powerboat racing in the country.

Its floating stage has hosted acts like Queen, The Beach Boys, and Ray Charles.

After hurricane Andrew in 1992, the building was deemed unsafe and has been closed to the public ever since.

"The stadium is such a special place. There's no other place like it on the planet," said Rupp. "When you're sitting in the stands, you've got that beautiful view of the Downtown Miami skyline, the water, it's just incredible."

On Feb. 24, the city commission will be voting on an item to fund the restoration of the stadium.

It’s the latest in an effort to preserve and protect the past as we move into the future.

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