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

27 November 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Miami, 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…

Portrait: Carl Graham Fisher, the man who built Miami Beach

25 September 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Miami, Portrait

Carl Graham Fisher memorial at Fisher Park in Miami Beach © Tamanoeconomico/cc-by-sa-4.0

Carl Graham Fisher memorial at Fisher Park in Miami Beach © Tamanoeconomico/cc-by-sa-4.0

Carl Graham Fisher was an American entrepreneur. Despite severe astigmatism, he became actively involved in auto racing. He was a seemingly tireless pioneer and promoter of the automotive industry and highway construction, and of real estate development in Florida. He is widely regarded as a promotional genius.   read more…

Brickell in Miami

4 February 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami

© Daniel Christensen

© Daniel Christensen

Brickell is an urban neighborhood of Greater Downtown Miami, Florida. Directly south of the historic CBD, Brickell is Miami and South Florida‘s major financial district. Brickell was settled in the modern era in the mid-19th century by early pioneers, growing to become Miami’s “Millionaire’s Row” in the early 20th century after the construction of lavish mansions along Brickell Avenue by Mary Brickell. By the 1970s, office towers, hotels and apartments began replacing the historic mansions. Today, Brickell has grown to overtake the city’s historic central business district to the north, as one of the largest financial districts in the United States. With a fast-growing residential population, Brickell is one of Miami’s fastest-growing as well as its most dense neighborhood.   read more…

Miami-Dade County Courthouse

1 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, 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.   read more…

Bayside Marketplace in Miami

4 June 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami

© Kolossos/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Kolossos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bayside Marketplace is a marketplace in Downtown Miami. It is located between the Bayfront Park to the south end, and the American Airlines Arena to the North. As its name suggests, it wraps along the banks of the bay wall.   read more…

The Miami Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables

27 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Miami

© Alex Feldstein/cc-by-2.5

© Alex Feldstein/cc-by-2.5

The Miami Biltmore Hotel is a luxury hotel in Coral Gables in Florida. It was designed by Schultze and Weaver and was built in 1926 by John McEntee Bowman and George Merrick as part of the Bowman-Biltmore Hotels chain. When completed it became the tallest building in Florida at 315 feet (96m) holding the record until 1928 when the Dade County Courthouse was built. The Miami-Biltmore Hotel & Country Club was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996. On April 18, 2012, the AIA‘s Florida Chapter placed the building on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places as the Biltmore Hotel. It served as a hospital during World War II and as a VA Hospital and campus of the University of Miami medical school until 1968. It became a hotel again in 1987 managed by the Seaway Hotels Corporation. Some people claim this hotel to be haunted, most often by the spirit of Thomas Walsh. When completed, it was the tallest building in Florida, surpassing the Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami. It was surpassed in 1928 by the Dade County Courthouse, also in Downtown Miami. At one time the pool was the largest pool in the world and among the many attractions was swimming instructor (and later Tarzan actor) Johnny Weissmuller. The hotel has been used as a setting for the movie Bad Boys and television programs like CSI: Miami and Miami Vice. The hotel was also a major setting for Ken Wiederhorn‘s 1977 cult horror film Shock Waves, starring John Carradine and Peter Cushing. The film was shot at a time when the hotel was in a state of abandoned disrepair, and featured long camera shots and eerily shot angles. Currently, the acclaimed GableStage Theater operates out of the Biltmore Hotel. It is owned and managed by Joseph Adler. The Biltmore spa is 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) full service spa which is a member of Leading Spas of the World.   read more…

The Marlins Park in Miami

20 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami, Sport

© flickr.com - Roberto Coquis/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Roberto Coquis/cc-by-2.0

Marlins Park is a baseball park located in Miami. It is the current home of the Miami Marlins, the city’s Major League Baseball franchise. It is located on 17 acres of the former Miami Orange Bowl site in Little Havana, about 2 miles (3 km) west of Downtown. Construction was completed in March 2012, in time for the 2012 season. The stadium is designed in a neomodern form of baseball architecture. Marlins Park was also LEED certified as the greenest MLB park in 2012. The building is the sixth MLB stadium to have a retractable roof. With a seating capacity of 37,442, it is the third-smallest stadium in Major League Baseball by official capacity, and the smallest by actual capacity. The stadium’s public-funding plan led to a protracted lawsuit, largely contributed to the ouster of several local politicians, and triggered an SEC investigation. As revelations of the team’s finances and their handling of payroll (both before and after construction) seemed to contradict some of the premises on which the tax-funded-stadium deal were based, the ballpark controversy intensified. Despite questionable financing decisions by members of local government at the time, the financing of the project did not use General Fund taxes from local taxpayers and pulled from tourist funds specifically allocated for public-benefiting projects like sports facilities. The facility hosted a second-round pool of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, a first-round pool of the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and hosted the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The park also hosts soccer matches, fundraising galas and other events during the winter. It also hosted the Miami Beach Bowl from 2014 through 2016.   read more…

PortMiami in the Biscayne Bay

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

© 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

© 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…

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