Saturday, November 28, 2009

Miami Marine Stadium Renovation May Be Coming Soon...

After Hurricane Andrew's powerful winds shut down Miami Marine Stadium in 1992 due to severe damage to the roof, the structure has sat on the waterfront - empty and unloved - continuing to deteriorate and constantly embellished with graffiti of all colors and sizes.

PHOTO CREDIT: MarineStadium.Org

But a younger generation of preservationists and architects have begun to appreciate the design and the historic role of the stadium, which some now rank as a unique cultural icon, demonstrated by its placement on the World Monuments Fund's watch list for 2010 of monuments threatened by neglect or overdevelopment for 2010. Architectural experts both in Miami and around the world say the 6,566-seat stadium is a significant modernist structure -and the move to preserve it is not a joke.

PHOTO CREDIT: Don Sire under Off the Press

That notion matches up well with the feelings of offshore powerboat racing fans, who miss the high performance action that the stadium once hosted and who have been calling for its restoration for many years. According to a report on Miami TV Station CBS Channel 4:
"The marine stadium is unique because of its cantilevered, fold-plate roof and its construction of lightweight, poured-in-place concrete, which was popular in mid-century European and Latin American sports stadiums. The modernist design appears to float over the glimmering water of Biscyane Bay; when bands used to perform there, they would play atop a floating stage. Boats clustered in the water and fans packed the stands."

PICTURE CREDIT: www.archicentral.com.

The efforts to rescue the site are heating up, as Miami has awarded a historic designation for the stadium, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation added it to its "most endangered" list. On Oct. 1, singer Jimmy Buffett cut a public service announcement on behalf of the stadium, urging his multitude of fans to support a new restoration effort.

To keep up on the latest efforts involving fund raising and renovating the stadium, head over to the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium website.

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