Friday, April 20, 2007

Miami's Freedom Tower

This photo is taken at the very heart of Miami's downtown. The Freedom Tower looks very lonely near the new constructions.

Originally completed in 1925 as the headquarters and printing facility of the Miami News & Metropolis newspaper, it is an example of Mediterranean Revival style with design elements borrowed from the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain. Its cupola on a 255 foot (78 m) tower contained a decorative beacon.

In the 1950s the Miami News vacated the building to share facilities with the rival Miami Herald. As refugees from the Castro regime arrived in Miami, the federal government used the facility to process, document and provide medical and dental services for the immigrants. After the first major wave of immigration had passed, the government sold the building in the 1970s. Passing through several owners, the dilapidated building was eventually abandoned until 1997 when a prominent and controversial member of the Cuban-American community purchased the building for $4.1 million US.

The building was restored and converted into a monument for the refugees who fled to the United States from communist Cuba. It houses a museum, library, meeting hall, and the offices of the Cuban American National Foundation.

Recently the Freedom Tower was purchased by a developer who wished to demolish 75 feet (23 m) of the original tower and develop 683 condominium units. A group of preservationist organized and successfully stopped the demolition, The developers were unable to gain approval. They then donated the Freedom tower to Miami-Dade College, which plans to use it as a monument to the Cuban community. The city later granted approval to the developers to build on the back of the property without demolishing the original tower.

Freedom Tower

1 comment:

lv2scpbk said...

It looks so sunny there. The sun is finally coming out here. Although, it's suppose to rain again in a few days. I posted a round barn today if you'd like to check it out.