Miami-Dade County Courthouse

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: House of the Month, Miami

© Daniel Di Palma/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Daniel Di Palma/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Miami-Dade County Courthouse is a historic courthouse located at 73 West Flagler Street in Miami, Florida. Constructed over four years (1925–28), it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on January 4, 1989. The building is 361 feet tall with 28 floors. When it was built, it was the tallest building in Miami and in Florida. It is still in use as the main civil courthouse of Miami-Dade County.

When county government was established following the Civil War, public records were so sparse they could be carried in a carpetbag and most probably were. Therefore, the “courthouse” was wherever the county’s chief office holder decided to do business. In 1890, Dade County’s first courthouse stood in the town of Juno some ten miles north of West Palm Beach. At that time, Dade County covered more territory than it does today, stretching from Bahia Honda Key, in the Middle Keys, up to the St. Lucie River, near present-day Port St. Lucie. Juno was chosen as the “county seat” because of its strategic location at the southern terminus of the Jupiter-Juno railroad. Juno also held the northern terminus of the boat and connecting stagecoach line to Miami. The courthouse remained in Juno (now no longer in existence) until 1899, when it was moved to Miami down the inland waterway on a barge and was placed on the banks of the Miami River, east of the old Miami Avenue bridge. The building was two story wooden frame construction, housing offices and jail cells on the ground floor and a courtroom on the second floor. In 1904 this building was replaced by a new courthouse building with a Neoclassical design situated on Flagler Street (then known as Twelfth Street). It was a magnificent building constructed of limestone, having an elegant red-domed top, at the cost of $47,000. It was anticipated that this courthouse would serve the city for at least fifty years; however, no one was prepared for the rapid growth Miami experienced during this period, and by 1924, only twenty years later, there was serious talk of the need for a larger courthouse.

© Daniel Di Palma/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Daniel Di Palma/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Averette/cc-by-3.0
<
>
© Daniel Di Palma/cc-by-sa-4.0
In the early 1920s, architect A. Ten Eyck Brown entered a design competition for Atlanta City Hall, which was rejected. He then made the plans available to Dade County, and City and County officials readily approved them. It was decided by the officials to build the new courthouse at the same location as the existing one on Flagler Street. Construction began in 1925, with workers erecting the new building around the existing structure, which was then dismantled. Community leaders and citizens alike voiced excitement over the new 28 story “skyscraper” that would soon dominate the skyline. Unexpectedly, construction was halted when the building reached ten stories. It was discovered that the “high-rise” was sinking into the spongy ground. Engineers consulted with an architect from Mexico City, whom had encountered a similar problem while building the city’s opera house. The consultant determined that the foundation pilings were not set deep enough. To correct the problem, cement supports were poured, which take up much of the space in the building’s basement file room even to this day. The courthouse was finally completed in 1928 at the cost of $4 million (today approximately $60 million). Initially, it served as both the Dade County Courthouse and the Miami City Hall. Jail cells occupied the top nine floors because these heights offered “maximum security” and were considered escape proof. In 1934, a prisoner housed on the twenty-first floor picked the lock of his jail cell window and used a fire hose to lower himself to freedom. In the years following, more than 70 prisoners escaped from this so-called “secure” prison.

For many years, the Miami-Dade County Courthouse, at an elevation of 360 feet, was reputed to be the tallest building south of Baltimore. It was the County’s first high-rise and is in the National Register of Historic Places. Efforts to refurbish this magnificent structure and restore it to its original grandeur have been underway since 1981 by Architect James W. Piersol, AIA of M.C Harry Associates Architects of Miami. The restoration and renovations initially stabilized the terra cotta facade, and installed new life safety systems. In 1982, the idea of restoring the lobby to its original distinction was the passion of both Architect James Piersol and engineer Don Youatt, of the Miami-Dade Planning and Development Department. With a little less than half of the funding necessary for the lobby restoration project in hand ($300,000 grant approved by the Legislature in 1996), the Dade County Bar Association acted as the fund-raising umbrella and initiate a drive to raise the remainder needed from lawyers and the general public. A few years later, the same team restored Courtroom 6-1, which had been the site of many infamous trials over the years. Today, the Miami-Dade County Courthouse provides offices, chambers, and courtrooms for the clerks and judiciary assigned to both the Circuit and County Civil Court.

Read more on Miami Dade Clerk of Courts and Wikipedia Miami-Dade County Courthouse. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.



Recommended posts:

Share this post:

Tilburg, in the heart of Brabant

Tilburg, in the heart of Brabant

[caption id="attachment_159787" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Street view © Michielverbeek[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Tilburg is a landlocked municipality and a city in the Netherlands, located in the southern province of Noord-Brabant. Tilburg municipality also includes the villages of Berkel-Enschot and Udenhout. Tilburg University is located in Tilburg, as are Avans University of Applied Sciences and Fontys University of Applied Sciences. Tilburg has nearly 30.000 students at one of these universities. A 10 day-lon...

Edifício Copan, with the largest floor area of any residential building in the world

Edifício Copan, with the largest floor area of any residential building in the world

[caption id="attachment_2979" align="aligncenter" width="519" caption="Oscar Niemeyer's Copan Building © Jürgen Partenheimer"][/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Edifício Copan (Copan Building) is a 140-metre, 38-story residential building in São Paulo, Brazil. Construction began in 1957 and, following some interruptions, was completed in 1966. It is one of the largest buildings in Brazil and has the largest floor area of any residential building in the world. The building was not named after the ancient Mayan city i...

Notting Hill Carnival in London

Notting Hill Carnival in London

[caption id="attachment_165456" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Romazur/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that has taken place since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, each August over two days (the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday). It is led by members of the British West Indian community, and attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world's largest street festivals (oth...

The island of Funen

The island of Funen

[caption id="attachment_152855" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Odense - City Hall © Kåre Thor Olsen[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Funen with a size of 2,984 km² (1152 sq. miles), is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants. The main city is Odense, connected to the sea by canal, though this canal is now seldom used. The city's shipyard Odense Steel Shipyard h...

Château d’If off the coast of Marseille

Château d’If off the coast of Marseille

[caption id="attachment_24410" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Château d'If © Philippe Alès/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Château d'If is a fortress (later a prison) located on the island of If, the smallest island in the Frioul Archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea about a mile offshore in the Bay of Marseille in southeastern France. Île d’If measures 3 hectares (0.03 km2) and is located 3.5 kilometers west of the Vieux Port in Marseille. The entire island is heavily fortified; high ramparts with gu...

Hamburg's warehouse district, the largest historic warehouse complex in the world

Hamburg's warehouse district, the largest historic warehouse complex in the world

[caption id="attachment_25354" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Thomas Wolf - www.foto-tw.de/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Speicherstadt (meaning warehouse district) in Hamburg is the largest warehouse district in the world where the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations. It is located in the the HafenCity quarter and was built from 1883 to 1927. The Speicherstadt is located in the port of Hamburg and 1.5 km (0.93 mi) long and pervaded by loading canals. The district was built as a free zone to trans...

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in Lorient/France © XIIIfromTOKYO/cc-by-sa-3.0
The Buena Vista Social Club

Buena Vista Social Club is an ensemble of Cuban musicians established in 1996 to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba....

Delray Beach © D Ramey Logan/cc-by-sa-4.0
Delray Beach in Florida, America’s Most Fun Small Town

Delray Beach is a coastal city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population of Delray Beach is estimated...

Tiber, Ponte Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's Basilica © Rabax63/cc-by-sa-4.0
Theme Week Vatican City – St. Peter’s Basilica

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in...

Schließen