Stiltsville in Florida

13 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

Stiltsville as seen from Cape Florida Light © Mr3641

Stiltsville as seen from Cape Florida Light © Mr3641

Stiltsville is a group of wood stilt houses located one mile south of Cape Florida, on sand banks of the Safety Valve on the edge of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The structures stand on wood or reinforced concrete pilings, generally ten feet above the shallow water, which varies from one to three feet deep at low tide. Most sources claim the first stilt shack was built in the early 1930s, but some Dade County historians say that there were a dozen shacks in “the flats” as early as 1922. Today there seven houses remaining. Stiltsville’s frontier era ended with Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Beginning in August 1965, the state of Florida required building owners to pay $100 annually to lease their quarter-acre circular “campsites.” No permits for new construction were issued, and structures that sustained more than 50-percent damage could not be rebuilt. Building codes were implemented and the state banned commercial operations after 1969.   read more…

Bal Harbour in Florida

17 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

Collins Avenue in Bal Harbour © Alexf

Collins Avenue in Bal Harbour © Alexf

Bal Harbour is a village in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population is at 3,000. Since the 1920s, the Detroit-based Miami Beach Heights Corporation – headed by industrialists Robert C. Graham, Walter O. Briggs, and Carl G. Fisher – owned 245 acres (0.99 km²) of undeveloped, partially swampy land that stretched from the bay to the Atlantic. Mr. Graham assumed the duties as the developer for Bal Harbour. In the 1930s, city planners Harland Bartholomew & Associates were called in to design the Village. The company made several plans, and they were submitted to the Miami Beach Heights for review.   read more…

Bayfront Park in Miami

28 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

Panoramic view of Bayfront Park during the 2013 Ultra Music Festival © Robert Giordano/cc-by-sa-3.0

Panoramic view of Bayfront Park during the 2013 Ultra Music Festival © Robert Giordano/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bayfront Park is a 32-acre (13 ha) public, urban park in Downtown Miami, Florida on Biscayne Bay. The park began construction in 1924 under the design plans of Warren Henry Manning and officially opened in March 1925. Beginning in 1980, it underwent a major redesign by Japanese-American modernist artist and landscape architect, Isamu Noguchi. Today, Bayfront Park is maintained by the Bayfront Park Management Trust, a limited agency of the city of Miami.   read more…

Virginia Key in Miami

6 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Miami / South Florida, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Virginia Key is an 863-acre (3.49 km²) barrier island in Miami, Florida, United States in Biscayne Bay, south of Brickell and north of Key Biscayne. It is accessible from the mainland via the Rickenbacker Causeway. The island is mainly occupied by the Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami Seaquarium, Miami-Dade’s Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Other facilities include the former Miami Marine Stadium, the National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and an office of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.   read more…

Portrait: John S. Collins, the founder of Miami Beach

27 November 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Miami / South Florida, Portrait

John S. Collins © floridamemory.com

John S. Collins © floridamemory.com

John Stiles Collins was an American Quaker farmer from Moorestown Township, New Jersey who moved to South Florida and attempted to grow vegetables and coconuts on the swampy, bug-infested stretch of land between Miami and the ocean, a barrier island which became Miami Beach. John S. Collins died in 1928 at the age of 90. Collins Avenue and the Collins Canal, both on Miami Beach, are named in his honor.   read more…

PortMiami in the Biscayne Bay

16 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

© Marc Averette/cc-by-sa-1.0

© Marc Averette/cc-by-sa-1.0

PortMiami, formally the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami, is a major seaport located in Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach in Florida. It is the largest passenger port in the world, and one of the largest cargo ports in the United States. It is connected to Downtown Miami by Port Boulevard—a causeway over the Intracoastal Waterway—and to the neighboring Watson Island via the Port of Miami Tunnel. The port is located on Dodge Island, which is the combination of three historic islands (Dodge, Lummus and Sam’s Islands) that have since been combined into one. It is named in honor of 19 term Florida Congressman Dante Fascell.   read more…

Theme Week Miami – South Beach in Miami Beach

5 June 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

© SOBEJoe/cc-by-sa-3.0

© SOBEJoe/cc-by-sa-3.0

South Beach, also nicknamed SoBe, is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach in Florida, located due east of Miami city proper between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The area encompasses all of the barrier islands of Miami Beach south of Indian Creek. This area was the first section of Miami Beach to be developed, starting in the 1910s, due to the development efforts of Carl G. Fisher, the Lummus Brothers, and John S. Collins, the latter of whose construction of the Collins Bridge provided the first vital land link between mainland Miami and the beaches. In both daytime and at nightfall, the South Beach section of Miami Beach is a major entertainment destination with hundreds of nightclubs, restaurants (among others, the internationally known Joe’s Stone Crab), boutiques and hotels. The area is popular with tourists from the Western world and Israel, with some having permanent or second homes.   read more…

Theme Week Miami – Biscayne National Park

24 April 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© National Park Service Digital Image Archives

© National Park Service Digital Image Archives

Biscayne National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southern Florida, south of Miami. The park preserves Biscayne Bay and its offshore barrier reefs. Ninety-five percent of the park is water, and the shore of the bay is the location of an extensive mangrove forest. The park covers 172,971 acres (69,999 ha) and includes Elliott Key, the park’s largest island and first of the true Florida Keys, formed from fossilized coral reef. The islands farther north in the park are transitional islands of coral and sand. The offshore portion of the park includes the northernmost region of the Florida Reef, one of the largest coral reefs in the world. Biscayne National Park protects four distinct ecosystems: the shoreline mangrove swamp, the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay, the coral limestone keys and the offshore Florida Reef. The shoreline swamps of the mainland and island margins provide a nursery for larval and juvenile fish, molluscs and crustaceans. The bay waters harbor immature and adult fish, seagrass beds, sponges, soft corals, and manatees. The keys are covered with tropical vegetation including endangered cacti and palms, and their beaches provide nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles. Offshore reefs and waters harbor more than 200 species of fish, pelagic birds, whales and hard corals. Sixteen endangered species including Schaus’ swallowtail butterflies, smalltooth sawfish, manatees, and green and hawksbill sea turtles may be observed in the park. Biscayne also has a small population of threatened American crocodiles and a few American alligators.   read more…

Theme Week Miami – Coconut Grove

30 January 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

Former Pan American Seaplane Base and Terminal Building, now Miami's city hall © Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Former Pan American Seaplane Base and Terminal Building, now Miami’s city hall © Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Coconut Grove is the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood of Miami in Miami-Dade County in Florida. The neighborhood is roughly bound by North Prospect Drive to the south, LeJeune Road to the west, South Dixie Highway (US 1) and Rickenbacker Causeway to the north, and Biscayne Bay to the east. It is south of the neighborhoods of Brickell and The Roads and east of Coral Gables. The neighborhood’s name has been sometimes spelled “Cocoanut Grove” but the definitive spelling “Coconut Grove” was established when the city was incorporated in 1919. What is today referred to as Coconut Grove was formed in 1925 when the city of Miami annexed two areas of about equal size, the city of Coconut Grove and most of the town of Silver Bluff. The area is often referred to as “The Grove” and many locals take pride that Coconut Grove is one of the greenest areas of Miami. Coconut Grove is directly served by the Miami Metrorail at Coconut Grove and Douglas Road stations. Coconut Grove was long known as Miami’s art and artist district.   read more…

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