Guide Location: USA » Miami
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Kevin Lawver
Miami is very rich in architectural constructions, such as churches, towers, bridges, sky-scrapers and more. There is an area that is designated the MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, it's where you can visit buildings of various designs and colors. Take this walking tour to see the most acclaimed architectural constructions in Miami.
Tour Stops and Attractions
1) Bacardi Cantilever BuildingThe Bacardi Cantilever Building is a landmark structure in Miami and forms part of the complex that houses the headquarters of the Bacardi Rum Company. It has become an outstanding example of engineering in architecture and an important part of the itinerary of visitors to the city.
The Bacardi Cantilever Building was built in 1973 to house the offices of the Cuban company in exile well known for their famous brand of rum. It is located on the western side of the Plaza that also has another modernist structure called the Bacardi Tower. It was designed by Miami architect, Ignacio Carrera Justiz. It is a square building with a height of 47 feet above a central core. It has four walls with one inch thick glass mural tapestries hammered to the exterior. The square structure has two floors that cantilever for about 24 feet on either side of the central core. 28 tensor rods support each floor. The financial and accounting offices of the company are located here.
The glass tapestries that form the façade portray a fruit bat that is on the logo of Bacardi. They were manufactured in France based on an original painting by German artist, Johannes M. Dietz. Gabriel and Jacques Loire of Chartres oversaw the manufacture of the tapestries.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Mark 2400
2) Ten Museum ParkThe Ten Museum Park is the 13th tallest building in Miami and consists of residential condominium units. It is regarded as one of the most creatively designed structures in the city.
Ten Museum Park was designed by Chad Oppenheim and construction was completed in 2007. It is part of the Biscayne Wall, a series of skyscrapers to the west of Biscayne Boulevard. It stands 585 meters tall with 50 floors and 200 condominium units. The lower floors have offices and retail space. The east facing units are interlocking lofts while west facing units are shallow flats with large glass windows. More than 150 units have spectacular views of Biscayne Bay or the city of Miami. It is also located near the arts and entertainment district of the city and is eight minutes away from the airport. The exterior gives the appearance of a solid crystal block.
Amenities at Ten Museum Park include a luxury spa and pleasure garden run by the cosmetic company, Clinique that covers an area of 21,000 square feet, a café, a restaurant and 24 hour concierge and security services. All units have floor to ceiling windows and luxury fitting and fixtures. The Ten Museum Park was designed to offer the most luxurious in condominium living in the US.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and miamism
3) Freedom TowerThe Freedom Tower is a seventeen floor structure located on the Wolfson campus of Miami Dade College. It has become the symbol of freedom to Cuban refugees who fled the communist regime of Fidel Castro to Florida.
The Freedom Tower was built in Mediterranean revivalist style in 1925. It housed the offices and printing facility of the newspaper called the Miami News. The design closely resembles that of the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain. It has a height of 78 meters and the cupola once had a decorative beacon. The Miami News offices relocated in 1957 and the US Federal Government used the tower as a processing center for refugees fleeing from the communist regime in Cuba during the 1960s. Jorge Mas Canosa, the founder of the Cuban National American Foundation purchased Freedom Tower and converted it into a monument for Cuban refugees in 1997. It had a museum, library, a convention center and the offices of the Cuban National American Foundation.
Today, Freedom Tower belongs to the Miami Dade University and is used as a cultural and educational center. The university has plans to house a permanent exhibition commemorating the major newspaper that was once published here and with exhibits relating to the days when Freedom Tower served as a major Cuban refugee processing center.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and hipster librarian
4) Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Federal CourthouseWilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Federal Courthouse is a modern courthouse in downtown Maimi. It is named after prominent lawyer and Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson who was born in Miami and made significant contributions both as a lawyer and a judge to the city and the State of Florida.
The Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Federal Courthouse was designed by the architect firm Arquitechtonica in consultation with Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum. The structure consists of two towers connected by a curved glass prism. Each tower has 14 floors and the glass prism contains the waiting rooms and circulation spaces. It has 16 courtrooms and chambers and a separate space for the Clerk of the Court. There are Grand Jury suites, rooms for pre trial services, US Marshal’s Service offices, detention cells and rooms for US attorney, the General Services Administration Services GSA and other support services. The building also has 110 secured and covered indoor parking spaces.
The Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Federal Courthouse was completed and began functioning in the year 2005. The design of the building was hailed as an excellent example of green environmentally sensitive architecture. The glass façade is designed to reflect transparency, the integrity of the court and equality before law.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Miami92
5) Gusman Center for the Performing ArtsThe Gusman Center of Performing Arts is the official name of the Olympia Theater in Miami. It is a favored venue for MTV concerts and has hosted several performances by contemporary pop stars.
The Olympia Theater began in 1927 as a venue where silent movies were screened. It was designed by well known theater architect John Eberson with Moorish style exteriors and atmospheric interior design. It was also known for its perfect acoustics, simulated night sky ceiling with drifting clouds and twinkling stars and as the first air conditioned theater in the South. Soon, talking films and Vaudeville shows were screened and it continued to be one of the last theaters to stage Vaudeville performances. In the 1970s the building suffered neglect and local tycoon, Maurice Gusman, saved the theater and the adjacent office buildings from deterioration. He gave the renovated complex to the city of Miami who named it after Gusman in gratitude. The building is undergoing restoration and structural stabilization work once again today and will reopen in the near future as a modern and structurally safe theater.
Olympia Theater has a history of hosting performances by some of the best known singers and performing artists. It has hosted performances by Elvis Presley, Luciano Pavarotti and B.B.King in addition to some of the best known Vaudeville artists.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and shadowowl
6) Four Seasons Hotel MiamiThe Four Seasons Hotel and Tower, also known as the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, is a skyscraper in the City of Miami. It is located in Downtown Miami's Brickell Financial District. The tower contains a Four Seasons Hotel, office space and several residential condominium units on the upper floors. Rising 789 feet (240 m) and 64 floors, it is the tallest building in Miami and the state of Florida. At the time of its completion, the Four Seasons Hotel & Tower was also the tallest mixed use building in the U.S. south of New York City. The building was planned by Gary Edward Handel & Associates. Post-tensioning reinforcement of the structure was supplied and engineered by Suncoast Post-Tension. The building was constructed with dense steel reinforcing and silica-fume concrete, and is designed to sustain hurricane-force winds. Construction began in 2000, and the building was completed in 2003.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Averette
Sight description based on wikipedia
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