History Takes Time

Posted in: Uncategorized- Dec 15, 2016 No Comments
It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.” William Murtaugh, First Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places


The Miami Circle at the mouth of the Miami River, where the Tequesta tribe settled more than a thousand years ago, provides a rare physical link between the prehistoric and historic periods in the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans.  It is a National Historic Landmark, “a nationally significant historic place of exceptional value illustrating and interpreting the heritage of the United States.” Less than 3% of historic places in the United States ever receive this distinction. It’s worth remembering however that when it was first discovered in 1998 there was heated debate over the cultural value of the Circle and the foolishness of preserving it in its original location.  Local politicians and businessmen worried that it might set a dangerous precedent that could scare off investment if Miami started preserving historic sites near precious waterfront real estate.  “Visionary” Miami Mayor Joe Corollo forewarned; “My concern is the profound effect, the chilling effect it would have on other major projects that are coming to the city of Miami.”

Since those debates buildings like Icon, Epic, Four Seasons, Brickell Arch, Wells Fargo Center, 500 Brickell, Met One, Two, and Met Square, Marina Blue, 50 Biscayne, 900 Biscayne, Marquis, Mint, Infiniti, Brickell City Center, 1450 Brickell, Perez Art Museum, Frost Science Museum, and 1000 Biscayne have all been built downtown with no apparent end in sight to investment and development.  One can only imagine how much greater Miami would be if we hadn’t scared away all those investors by preserving our history where the river flows into the bay.


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