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Liberty City (Miami)

Coordinates: 25°49′54″N 80°13′29″W / 25.831801°N 80.224829°W / 25.831801; -80.224829
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liberty City
Liberty City mural
Liberty City mural
Model City (historic name)
The Liberty City neighborhood in Miami
The Liberty City neighborhood in Miami
Country United States
State Florida
CountyMiami-Dade County
 • City of Miami CommissionerJeffrey Watson
 • Miami-Dade CommissionersKeon Hardemon
 • House of RepresentativesAshley V. Gantt (D) and Dotie Joseph (D)
 • State SenateShevrin "Shev" Jones (D)
 • U.S. HouseFrederica Wilson (D)
3 m (10 ft)
 • Total19,725
 • Density3,733/km2 (9,669/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-05 (EST)
ZIP Code
33125, 33127, 33142, 33147, 33150
Area code(s)305, 786

Liberty City is a neighborhood in Miami, Florida, United States. The area is roughly bound by NW 79th Street to the north, NW 27th Avenue to the west, the Airport Expressway to the South, and Interstate 95 to the east. The neighborhood is home to one of the largest concentrations of African Americans in South Florida, as of the 2000 census.[1][2] Although it was often known as "Model City" both historically and by the City of Miami government, residents more commonly call it Liberty City.

It is serviced by the Miami Metrorail at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza and Brownsville stations along NW 27th Avenue.


Once part of the sparsely populated outskirts of northern Miami, what became Liberty City developed during the Great Depression of the 1930s when President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the construction of the Liberty Square housing project in 1933, the first of its kind in the Southern United States. Built as a response to the deteriorating housing conditions in densely populated and covenant-restricted slums of Overtown, construction on the initial housing project began in 1934 and it opened in 1937.

Into the 1940s and 1950s, the growing Liberty City and adjacent Brownsville thrived as a middle-income black American community, hosting several churches, hospitals, and community centers. The area served as home to prominent figures such as Kelsey Pharr, M. Athalie Range (the first black American elected to serve on the Miami city commission) and boxer Muhammad Ali. Although segregation laws prohibited black Americans from resting and residing in popular Miami Beach, service establishment and resorts such as the Hampton House Motel and Villas catered to and entertained the likes of notables such as Martin Luther King Jr., Althea Gibson, and even whites such as Mickey Mantle.

Construction of Interstate 95 in Florida in Overtown and declining use of restrictive covenants in the wake of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 dramatically altered the neighborhood into the 1960s. Increasing numbers of lower-income elderly and welfare-dependent families migrated to Liberty City after their displacement primarily from inner city Overtown, turning the area into a dangerous ghetto, leading to large-scale black flight of middle- and higher-income blacks and other blacks like West Indian Americans largely to suburban areas like Florida City and Miami Gardens in southern and northern Dade County, respectively.

Crime grew prevalent in the increasingly poverty-stricken area[clarification needed] in the immediate post–civil rights movement era of the 1960s and 1970s. The ensuing problems of the poor and disenfranchised grew most apparent and notable in race riots that occurred in Liberty City in August 1968 during the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, and in May 1980 following the acquittal of police officers charged with the killing of Arthur McDuffie

The plight of inner-city black Miamians increasingly came to be highlighted in national press into the 1980s as the University of Miami Hurricanes football team won several national college football championships led by players recruited mostly from black, lower-income neighborhoods such as Liberty City and Overtown. National exposure continued with the popularity of nationally broadcast programs such as the NBC crime drama Miami Vice, which brought the deteriorating conditions of the area to greater prominence.

Into the 1990s and 2000s, music grew to reflect the area, with locals such as Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew pioneering the Miami bass genre, which dominated Southern hip hop during the decade. Other music and sports talents rose to national prominence from the area such as rappers Trina and Trick Daddy, NBA player Udonis Haslem and NFL players Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson, Antonio Brown, and Willis McGahee.


Climate change is affecting the value of flood-prone real estate in Miami.[3] Miami neighborhoods with higher elevations such as Liberty City are experiencing increasing real estate values.[4] By 2017, Liberty City, along with Little Haiti, started becoming more attractive to investors.[5][4] A community land trust is planned to maintain affordability for current residents.[6] Home prices appreciated more slowly in 2018 in Miami Beach and lower-elevation areas of Miami-Dade County.[3]


In 2000, Liberty City had a population of 23,009[7] and 43,054[8] residents, with 7,772 households, and 5,428 families residing in the neighborhood. The median household income was $18,809.87. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 94.69% Black, 3.04% Hispanic or Latino of any nationality, 1.68% Other races (non-Hispanic), and 0.59% White.[7]

The zip codes for the Liberty City include 33127, 33142, 33147, and 33150. The area covers 5.968 square miles (15.46 km2). In 2000, there were 19,286 males and 23,768 females. The median age for males was 25.9 years, while the median age for females was 30.3 years. The average household size had 3.1 people, while the average family size had 3.7 members. The percentage of married-couple families (among all households) was 20.3%, while the percentage of married-couple families with children (among all households) was 9.1%, and the percentage of single-mother households (among all households) was 33.1%. The percentage of never-married males 15 years old and over was 21.9%, while the percentage of never-married females 15 years old and over was 29.7%.[8]

In 2000, 2.7% of the population spoke little to no English. The percentage of residents born in Florida was 74.5%, the percentage of people born in another U.S. state was 16.7%, and the percentage of native residents but born outside the U.S. was 0.8%, while the percentage of foreign born residents was 7.9%.[8]


Miami-Dade County Public Schools operates area public schools:

Public schools[edit]

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Lillie C. Evans K-8 Center
  • Poinciana Park Elementary School
  • Liberty City Elementary School
  • Holmes Elementary School
  • Charles R. Drew K-8 Center
  • Agenoria S. Paschal/Olinda Elementary School
  • Orchard Villa Elementary School
  • Lenora Braynon Smith Elementary School
  • Kelsey L. Pharr Elementary School
  • Earlington Heights Elementary School
  • Shadowlawn Elementary School
  • Thena B. Crowder Elementary School

Middle schools[edit]

  • Brownsville Middle School
  • Charles R. Drew K-8 Center
  • Lillie C. Evans K-8 Center
  • Georgia Jones Ayers Middle School
  • Jose De Diego Middle School
  • Miami Springs Middle School

High schools[edit]



Miami-Dade Public Library operates area public libraries:

  • Model City Library


The Miami Metrorail services the neighborhood at the following stations:

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "City of Miami-NET: Model City (Liberty City)" (PDF). www.ci.miami.fl.us. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 29, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  2. ^ Liberty City neighborhood, detailed profile
  3. ^ a b Morris, David Z (April 21, 2018). "Climate Change Is Already Depressing the Price of Flood-Prone Real Estate". Fortune. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Olick, Diana (August 29, 2019). "Rising Risks: 'Climate gentrification' is changing Miami real estate values – for better and worse". CNBC. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  5. ^ Luscombe, Richard (August 29, 2017). "How climate change could turn US real estate prices upside down". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  6. ^ Stewart, Ian; Garcia-Navarro, Lulu (March 31, 2019). "Building For An Uncertain Future: Miami Residents Adapt To The Changing Climate". NPR.org. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Demographics of Liberty City Miami, FL". miamigov.com. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c "Demographics of Liberty City, Miami, FL". city-data. Retrieved September 7, 2009.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

25°49′54″N 80°13′29″W / 25.831801°N 80.224829°W / 25.831801; -80.224829