Proposed Condo Developments Could Transform Little Havana

April 23rd, 2015

Little Havana was an abandoned commercial district in the 1950s. A decade later this blue collar neighborhood became home to many exiled Cuban immigrants following the 1959 Cuban revolution. Now, this Hispanic community has become a vibrant commercial district and tourist destination. The neighborhood has maintained several of its historic homes, including bungalows, Art Deco buildings, and Mission style homes built between the 1920s and the 1960s.

bungalow2Bungalow home located in Little Havana. Photo courtesy of The Little Havana Guide.

City of Miami officials want to bring about more changes to this colorful neighborhood by proposing zoning changes to make way for taller condos and increased commercial development. Some activists are against the city’s proposals, fearing that residents of Little Havana could be displaced. Activists also worry that a majority of the area’s historical buildings could be demolished. Advocates state that a substantial amount of the neighborhood’s housing stock is owned by absentee landlords with little interest in restoring aging properties. Developers and city officials backing the changes argue they would revitalize an economically depressed neighborhood.

The City of Miami’s planning board has already chosen to assign a two-block segment of the community with a historic preservation status. However, supporters of Little Havana were disappointed with the decision to have such a small area of the neighborhood covered. Some argue that the new zoning laws are an attempt by developers and the city to gentrify Little Havana and turn it into “West Brickell.”

Additional Resources:

http://www.littlehavanaguide.com/

http://uel.org/little-havana-density/

Discovering Florida: Juan Ponce de León

April 2nd, 2015

Map tracking Ponce de Leon's voyage to Florida. Photo courtesy of State Archives of Florida. On April 2, 1513, conquistador Juan Ponce de León became the first Spanish explorer to arrive in Florida. Many know the legend of Ponce de León and his search for the Fountain of Youth, but few are familiar with the role he played in the early history of the New World Read More...

Historical Women of the The Coconut Grove Woman’s Club

March 24th, 2015

  Until 1894, the Coconut Grove Schoolhouse was the meeting place for the Coconut Grove Housekeepers Club, the oldest federated women’s club in Florida. Photo courtesy of  the Florida State Archives. On February 19, 1891, the first meeting of the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove (originally known as the Housekeeper’s Club) was called to order Read More...

Soaring with Eastern Part 2: Dark Clouds and Silver Linings.

March 11th, 2015

Eastern Air lines Lockheed Constellation. After World War II, Eastern Air Lines developed into an even more powerful airline with an unmatched safety record; it had been operating as an airline for more than 25 years without a single passenger fatality. It was undeniably the most significant airline on the East Coast of the United States Read More...

Soaring with Eastern Part 1: Eddie Rickenbacker the “Ace of Aces.”

February 25th, 2015

  Eddie Rickenbacker pictured with his Simple Plastic Airplane Design or S.P.A.D. Eddie Rickenbacker (1890–1973) once said, “Aviation is proof that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” Rickenbacker was a Renaissance man, beginning his career as a race car driver, and then a World War I flying ace Read More...

Waking the Sleeping Beauty: An Update on the Hampton House

February 10th, 2015

Photo courtesy of History Miami "It was like something from your imagination, like the Sleeping Beauty movie, when the castle is covered with vines," architect Daphne Gurri Matute said when she first saw the two-story, 30,000-square-foot MiMo-style Hampton House in 2006 (McNamara 2010). Gurri’s architectural firm, Gurri Matute, was chosen by the Historic Hampton House Community Trust (HHHCT), the organization that preservation leader Dr Read More...

Opa-locka Rising

February 9th, 2015

WLRN reports on a city-wide transformation of Opa-Locka, the subject of our 2013 exhibition at HistoryMiami.  We are excited at the progress and are looking forward to more good news as renewal efforts take hold and grow. [caption id="attachment_2599" align="alignnone" width="542"] Opa-locka's first art and recreation center Read More...

Walk This Way: Miami’s Baywalk and the Underline

January 26th, 2015

 Concept for the Bayline project. Miami isn't known as the most pedestrian friendly city, but change may be on the horizon, two new urbanization projects--Baywalk and the Underline-- aim to create public walkways throughout the Magic City, forming a new way to see the city and a friendlier place for pedestrians and cyclists Read More...

The Underline: A Proposed 10-mile Linear Park and Urban Trail for Miami

January 22nd, 2015

"Friends of the Underline" is working on designs for a 10-mile linear park and urban trail underneath the Metrorail span between the Dadeland South and Brickell stations.  For more information, visit their Website or friend them on Facebook. [caption id="attachment_2546" align="alignnone" width="585"] Concept for the vicinity of University station Read More...

Extinct, Refurbished, and Classic Malls of South Florida.

December 18th, 2014

The holidays are fast approaching! Tis’ the season to send festive cards, spend time with loved ones, and make mad dashes to shopping malls. So grab your shopping list as we head over to some of the extinct, refurbished, and classic malls of South Florida.   Photo courtesy of the Florida Archives Miracle Mile Miracle Mile was designed by real estate developer George E Read More...