Miami High School
|Miami Senior High School|
|2450 SW 1st Street
Miami, Florida 33135
|School type||Public, high school|
|Motto||Non verbis sed operis (Not by words, but deeds)|
|School district||Miami-Dade County Public Schools|
|Color(s)||Blue and gold|
|Mascot||"Whippy" the Stingaree|
Miami Senior High School
|Area||19 acres (7.7 ha)|
|Architect||Kiehnel and Elliott|
|Architectural style||Late 19th- and 20th-century revivals, Mediterranean Revival with Moorish elements|
|NRHP Reference #||90000881|
|Added to NRHP||June 18, 1990|
Miami Senior High School is a public high school located at 2450 SW 1st Street in Miami, Florida, United States, and operated by Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Founded in 1903, it is the oldest high school in Miami-Dade County. The school building is famous for its architecture and is a historic landmark. Miami Senior High School has a rich alumni base, with many graduates of the high school going on to varied, prominent careers. The high school originally served the earliest settling families of Miami in the first half of the 20th century. By the late 1960s, with an increase in Miami's population, its student body grew at a fast pace.
Miami Senior High School was established in 1902 and was the first high school in Miami-Dade County. Originally, high school classes took place in Miami's first schoolhouse, a two-story frame structure that was built in 1898 on what is now NE 1st Avenue, between 3rd and 4th Streets. This building, considered temporary, was a one-story frame bungalow addition built directly behind the existing schoolhouse. It opened its doors on September 18, 1905, with 29 girls and 20 boys in attendance.
In 1909, the school board decided to build a new schoolhouse to again house all grammar and high school students together. In 1911, a new three-story concrete schoolhouse opened its doors. The original one-story high school building was moved to SW 12th Street and 1st Avenue, repainted, and opened as the Southside Elementary School. After a new Southside Elementary School was constructed in 1914, the original high school building fell into decades of neglect, operating as a boarding house for 90 years. It was "discovered" in 1983 by a local historian and, in January 2003, was moved to its current location in Southside Park, where it has since been renovated and opened as a community center.
Miami High School's current building is its fourth home. The school board selected a fifteen-acre campus in the middle of what was then a pine forest. Groundbreaking occurred early in 1926, but due to the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, the school's opening was delayed. Finally finished in 1928, the building was designed in a Spanish Mediterranean style with Moorish and Byzantine details by Richard Kiehnel of Kiehnel and Elliott, one of the great early Miami architects. He gave the school an impressive entrance off Flagler Street "of three arched portals befitting a Gothic cathedral," according to the American Institute of Architects' Miami architecture guide. The building is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
1968 was a significant year for Miami High School. Structural changes were made to accommodate a newly installed air conditioning system that closed off the building's high ceilings. The original windows on the building were sealed with bricks before the completion of the work, and students suffered in hot classrooms for a large portion of the year. This was also the year of the major Florida statewide teachers' strike, which caused students classes to be in chaos due to having many newly-hired substitute teachers, while their regular teachers walked picket lines for weeks.
Located in the Little Havana neighborhood, the school was founded in 1902 for whites. Since the late 1950s, the high school has traditionally had a Cuban-American majority. Today, a growing number of students are of Central American descent, reflecting demographic changes in Little Havana since the 1990s.
By the 1950s a large Jewish minority had developed at Miami High, and Jews made up the majority of the students in some advanced-level classes. During that decade some Jewish students were in the attendance zone for Coral Gables High School but were instead sent to Miami High; this was especially the case with girls, as many high status girls' clubs at Coral Gables High did not admit Jews. A patio called "Little Jerusalem" or "LJ" (initially "Little Israel" in the 1950's) was where Jewish students socialized.
69% of the school's students graduate, and it has an overall dropout rate of 4%.
Historic architectural restoration
Beginning in 2010, Miami Senior High underwent a four-year historic restoration, renovation, and remodeling project at a cost of approximately $55 million. Project architect Thorn Grafton of Zyscovich Architects, who is the grandson of Miami Beach pioneering architect Russell Pancoast, was one of the people who undertook the renovation project. Completed in April 2014, the project did away with the dropped ceilings that had accommodated an old air conditioning system, and restored the original high ceilings and decorative cast-stone vent screens in the halls. It also reopened the original second story arcade, removed an office expansion that had blocked part of the courtyard, and restored the original 14-foot arched windows and steel-trussed cathedral ceiling in the old library (now a media center).
- Gil Amelio - CEO of Apple Computer
- Alfredo Amezaga - MLB outfielder, Chicago Cubs
- Desi Arnaz - band leader, TV producer, star of I Love Lucy
- Atari Bigby - NFL, Green Bay Packers
- Steve Blake - NBA guard, Detroit Pistons
- Eddie Brown - former NFL player
- Jeff Coopwood - Emmy-nominated actor, broadcaster and singer
- John Dasburg - CEO of Burger King
- Allen Edwards - college basketball player and coach
- Doug Edwards - NBA player (Atlanta Hawks)
- Robert L. Floyd - former Mayor of Miami, State Representative, Judge, and Miami Sheriff
- Luis Garcia - former MLB player (Baltimore Orioles)
- Christopher George (1929–1983) - actor and former Marine
- Edmond J. Gong - first Asian American elected to the Florida House and Senate
- Bob Graham - Florida Governor and US Senator
- Philip L. Graham - publisher of the Washington Post
- Anthony Grant - head basketball coach, University of Alabama
- Carol Hanson - former Florida State Representative (1982-1994) and Mayor of Boca Raton (1995-2001)
- Udonis Haslem - NBA player, Miami Heat
- Steve Hertz - MLB player and Israel Baseball League manager
- Lindy Infante - NFL head coach, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts
- Jamaal Jackson - NFL center
- Andre Johnson - NFL wide receiver, Tennessee Titans
- Lonnie Johnson – NFL player
- Donald Justice - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
- Veronica Lake - actress
- Mike Levy - founder and former CEO of SportsLine.com, now CBSSports.com
- Marquand Manuel - NFL player
- Jessi Smiles - YouTube and Vine star
- Frank Martin - head basketball coach, University of South Carolina
- Delrish Moss - Miami law enforcement veteran appointed as Police Chief of Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis known for racial unrest
- Gardnar Mulloy - tennis player
- Alfred Browning Parker - architect
- Roscoe Parrish - NFL WR, San Diego Chargers
- Juan Pena, former MLB player (Boston Red Sox)
- Ed Roberts - designed the first commercially successful personal computer in 1975
- Mandy Romero- former MLB player (San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies)
- Al Rosen (1924-2015) - MLB 4x All Star and MVP baseball player
- David A. Siegel - businessman
- George Smathers - U.S. Senator
- Bob Stinson - former MLB player (Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners)
- Mario Valdez - former MLB player (Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics)
- Brent Wright - professional basketball player in Europe
In pop culture
Veronica Lake, actress and model, 1930s
Ed Roberts, "father of the PC", computer engineer, 1950s
Donald Justice, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, 1940s
Christopher George, actor, 1940s
Jeff Coopwood, Emmy-nominated actor, broadcaster and singer, 1970s
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- City of Miami Historic Preservation Officer (16 March 2004). "Report on the Potential Designation of the First Miami High School as a Historic Site" (PDF). City of Miami Planning Department. City of Miami. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Viglucci, Andres (April 11, 2014). "Miami High restored as resplendent castle of learning". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- Moore, Deborah Dash. To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A.. Harvard University Press, 1994. ISBN 0674893050, 9780674893054. p. 87.
- Boxoffice Magazine, 'Former Miamian Chris George has been at the Four Ambassadors Hotel in Miami to Plug his latest Film,' page SE7, 12 March 1973
- Bushouse, Kathy (2001-03-31). "'The People's Candidate'". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
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