Freedom Tower (Miami)
The Freedom Tower in downtown Miami as of September 2010.
|Location||Miami, Florida, USA|
|Architect||George A. Fuller, Schultze & Weaver|
|Architectural style||Spanish Renaissance Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||79000665|
|Added to NRHP||September 10, 1979|
|Designated NHL||October 6, 2008|
The Freedom Tower is a building in Miami, Florida, designed by Schultze and Weaver. It is used currently as a memorial to Cuban immigration to the United States. It is located at 600 Biscayne Boulevard on the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College. On September 10, 1979, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark on October 6, 2008. On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter placed the building on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places as the Freedom Tower / Formerly Miami News and Metropolis Building.
Originally completed in 1925 as the headquarters and printing facility of the newspaper The Miami News, it is an example of Mediterranean Revival style with design elements borrowed from the Giralda in Seville, Spain. Its cupola on a 255 foot (78 m) tower contained a decorative beacon.
The Miami News vacated the building in 1957 to relocate to a new facility on the Miami River. As refugees from Cuba fleeing Fidel Castro's communist regime arrived in Miami during the 1960s, the federal government used the facility to process, document and provide medical and dental services for the newcomers. After the major era of refugees ended in 1972, the government sold the building to private ownership in 1974. In 1979, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1997 the building was purchased for US$4.1 million by Jorge Mas Canosa, founder of MasTec and initiator of the Cuban American National Foundation, and restored and converted into a monument for the refugees who fled to the United States from communist Cuba. It housed a museum, library, meeting hall, and the offices of the Cuban American National Foundation. Salsa legend Celia Cruz was memorialized at The Freedom Tower upon her death in 2003, with more than 200,000 turning out to show their respects.
In 2004, the Freedom Tower was purchased by developer Pedro Martin and his company, Terra Group, who proposed a new building (possibly condominiums) on an adjacent part of the property. Preservationists opposed the plan, and during 2005 the developers donated Freedom Tower to Miami Dade College, which is using it as a cultural and educational center. The city later granted approval to the developers to build on the back of the property without demolishing the original tower.
More recently, Miami Dade College has hosted major exhibitions including showcasing the works of masters Dalí, Goya and Da Vinci since the Martin family donated the tower to the institution. It has plans to expand the offerings at the Tower and install exhibitions commemorating the Freedom Tower’s past as the home of a major newspaper and the site where hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees were processed. The college will also commemorate the building’s architecture. It recently restored The New World Mural, Painted by The Miami Artisans in 1988. Wade S. Foy, John Conroy, William Mark Coulthard, Phylis Shaw, Gerome Villa Bergsen and Ana Bikic.
- "National Register of Historical Places - Florida (FL), Miami-Dade County". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-06-24.
- "Freedom Tower". Florida Heritage Tourism Interactive Catalog. Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs. 2007-06-24.
- "Weekly List Of Actions Taken On Properties: 10/6/08 through 10/10/08". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-10-17.
- Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places
- "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Freedom Tower". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-10-08.
- Martin, Lydia. "A long goodbye". Cubanet.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Freedom Tower (Miami).|
- National Park Services' National Historic Landmark description
- Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs
- Cuban American National Foundation
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