To save or not to save? Miami’s historic buildings grab the spotlight

This week’s news that the AIA is relocating to the historic post office building in Downtown Miami serves as a good reminder that the Magic City is only about 116 years old. The “historic” label carries a much different meaning in these parts. Still, we may be guilty of not having preserved enough of our architectural gems.

Here’s a look at what we’re doing right — and wrong. Feel free to chime in with your own ideas and suggestions in the comments section below.

freedomtowerSaved, Sealed, Delivered They’re Ours
These buildings are protected and actively in use. Preservation done right.

1. Downtown Post Office – at just over 100 years old it’s making a comeback as the new home for American Institute of Architects’ Miami Center for Architecture & Design.

2. Freedom Tower – Now a member of the Miami-Dade College family, Miami’s own mini-Ellis island is now an arts gallery and event space but it remains one of Miami’s most recognizable beacons


3. Alffred Dupont Building – Once a bank, this swanky space plays host to some of Miami’s most memorable events and galas

marine-front-brickell-reporter.previewGoing, Going, Hopefully Not Gone
There’s no doubt of these buildings’ historical significance. But there seem to be no solid plans as to what to do with them.

1. Marine Stadium – Seaplanes, boat races, and outdoor concerts? Let’s do it again.


Bacardi_Buildings_Miami_photo_by_Robin_Hill_©_01.preview2. Bacardi Building – It may no longer be the home of Bacardi in Miami but this will always be the Bacardi building. We think it’s an ideal spot for a museum — be it to Caribbean culture or cocktails.

3. Coconut Grove Playhouse – This theater has been home to an impressive array of talents. It’s sad to see it wasting away, boarded up and dormant. We’d love to see the Playhouse return to its former glory days and bring some much needed attention back to the beloved Grove.

New Stars On The Block
We expect these new buildings to be the preserved one day not too far in the future.

OperaHouse1. Adrienne Arsht Center – César Pelli’s center straddles Biscayne and helped ring in the new Downtown Miami

2. New World Center – World-renowned Frank Gehry comes to Miami and gives us an entirely new movie watching tradition to go with a state-of-the-art cultural center and landmark

3. Miami Tower – The one building that lights up the night sky like no other, this icon is Miami’s beaming nightlight. What color will it be cloaked in tonight?