Miami Marine Stadium

The deteriorating Miami Marine Stadium has received a lot of coverage in recent years as its proponents, known as Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium, seek to have it rehabilitated. The basics are this:

  • Designed by Hilario Candela, the 6,566 seat stadium was built in 1963 on Virginia Key near downtown Miami with a corresponding basin for power boat racing. The Modernist building partially hangs over the water and features a concrete, cantilevered roof.
  • It has a unique history, which includes serving as a filming location for Elvis Presley’s 1967 movie “Clambake” and the site of a political rally in which Sammy Davis Jr. embraced Richard Nixon.
  • After Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, engineers said it was unstable and the city of Miami shuttered it. It has since become a haven for graffiti artists and vandals.
  • Calls for reviving the Miami Marine Stadium reached a crescendo in the late 2000s, and it was on both the World Monuments Fund Watch List and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
  • Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado supports revitalizing the stadium, and original architect Candela has been working with University of Miami architectural students to create potential new uses for the stadium.
  • In April 2010, the Miami-Dade County Commission agreed to appropriate $3 million toward the stadium’s rehabilitation if the city can come up with a feasible new use, a solid financial plan, and the rest of the money toward the project, estimated at upward of $8.5 million.

Courtesy Friends of Miami Marine Stadium

Courtesy Friends of Miami Marine Stadium

Courtesy Friends of Miami Marine Stadium

As it looks today. Photo by Rick Bravo and courtesy Friends of Miami Marine Stadium.

Google Earth aerial of the Miami Marine Stadium and basin. The stadium is the white rectangle at a diagonal in the center of the photo.

Notice the disintegrated concrete under the cantilevered seats.

That concrete roof is an engineering feat.

The view of the Miami skyline. It would be a great place to watch fireworks.

The supports are architecturally unique in their own right.

Fresh paint.

Most of the graffiti is awful, but some of the work is quite good.

The Miami Marine Stadium appears on the path to rehabilitation, but it’s not there yet. A viable use for the stadium must be chosen, and there’s the ever present bureaucratic red tape to cut through. The Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium have a goal of a December 2012  reopening. Stay tuned.

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1 Comment

Filed under Florida, Mid-Century Modern, Modernism

One response to “Miami Marine Stadium

  1. Pingback: Two Year Anniversary | Gator Preservationist

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