Photographer's Note

Pictured here is a view of a part of Biscayne Boulevard, in downtown Miami USA.

I have always thought of Miami as a fascinating city, a combination of the modern towering blocks and the famous art deco hotels and buildings, all combined into a unique urban place.

In this shot, we can see on the right hand side, 4 of the modern buildings typical of the city, and in front of those the unusual shape of the American Airlines Arena. But the building of most interest is the tower on the left, which unfortunately cannot be very well seen in this picture.

The tower on the left belongs to the Freedom Tower which was formerly the Miami News building. It was completed in 1926 and was the city HQ for the newspaper. it is a rather unique design being Mediterranean revival with specific elements taken from Seville in Spain. The unusual Cuppola contains a beacon. The building stands a total of 78 meters high.

Miami news left the site in 1957 and at this point, the building began to take on what was the beginning of a somewhat heavier history.

Refugees feeling the rule of Fidel Castro began arriving in Miami in the 1960's, and the Freedom tower was used by the government to process documents of the newcomers, and to provide medical assistance. It was sold to private owners in 1974.

The founder of the Cuban American National Foundation, Jorge Mas Canosa bought the building in 1997 for the princely sum of 4.1 million dollars. He restored the building including its iconic tower and converted it into a monument for all those many people who fled from Cuba to the US.

2004 saw the tower bought by Pedro Martin of the Terra Group who proposed building new condos to the back of the building. This was strongly opposed and in 2005 the developers company donated the building to Miami Dade College who continue to own it today.

To visit the Freedom Tower today will allow you to see its existing purpose as a museum, cultural centre and place of education. It is becoming a recognized centre for its major exhibitions and its assistance in growing art in the community.

I would have liked to see this building more, and to get better idea of its scale and position in the city, but unfortunately, this photo was taken from a boat that did not dock in this area so I did not have the chance. It is on my list should I ever get back to this beautiful city though!

Thanks for looking.

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4177 W: 26 N: 9240] (33774)
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