It really is enough to make you cry. In fact, it is an outrage. It looks like from the outset that saving the stadium was never in the cards. Where is the Mayor Manny Diaz of 2002 when he promised to restore the stadium? Mr. Mayor, if the only thing your city planners can come up with is sandwich shops and retail, you should fire them all for lack of vision. Hell, the Marine Stadium is just sitting there waiting to be fixed. It's not like you have to build it from scratch. It's very engineers Pancoast, Ferendino Spillis + Candela (since morphed into Spillis Candela DMJM) are headquartered in Coral Gables. Give them a call. Here's their phone number: 305-444-4691. See if they think it can be repaired at a reasonable price. The first report of roof damage following 1992's Hurricane Andrew supposes that the hairline cracks found on the cantilevered concrete roof (the largest such structure in the world in 1963-- and it still may be for all we know) may have been there BEFORE the hurricane and the implication was that the hurricane may have had no effect on the integrity of the construction.
Of course, that was then. Fifteen years have passed and nothing was done to repair the roof or to protect it from the ravages of white trash neglect. Yet it still stands much like the Roman aqueducts and Coliseum have for nearly 2,000 years. But the Romans had an excuse for not taking care of their public works projects: the Huns. What's Miami's? Despite concrete's fabled strength and endurance, we suspect that the modern introduction of rebar into it will accelerate the stadium's decline because once rebar comes into contact with salt air and water, it's basically over. We're sure this kind of negligence on behalf of the city only acerbated the problem. If the City decides to tear down the Miami Marine Stadium, some lawyer ought to sue the city for fiscal incompetence or some other kind of mal practice for not doing all it could to protect assets belonging to its citizens.
Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, whose district includes Virginia Key, is reported in the Miami Herald as complaining about being kept out of the planning loop prior to this week's first public meeting. Hopefully his umbrage will fire him up and he'll get behind saving the Miami Marine Stadium. Hopefully, he'll see its historical significance and want to preserve it. Yes, it might cost some money to repair but why not do as MVB suggested in our first post on this subject in September 2006. Why not consider seeking out a company that could fund the restoration in exchange for naming rights. Since the stadium was first conceived as an arena for hydroplane racing, why not approach the company that sponsored the most famous hydroplane racing team of all time: Miss Budweiser? In exchange for the millions that it will cost to make the repairs and remove the graffiti (and getting Miami placed back into one of the most important slots on the unlimited hydroplane racing circuit), the city would rename the stadium as the Budweiser Miami Marine Stadium.
If you feel the same way we do, please take time to let our Mayor and Commissioners know by E-Mailing them here.
Click here to see the "Masterplan for Virginia Key" and to post comments to the consulting firm.
Click here to email your thoughts to the City of Miami Planning Dept.
If by some wild chance you don't see things the way we do, please refrain from emailing the above. We went through a lot of work for this post what with adding the links and all and would hate to see someone use it against our cause. Instead, please go to our previous post and help Lexi battle breast cancer. Thank you.
UpDate (8/20/08): The third public meeting for the Virginia Key Master Plan will be held Tuesday, August 26, 2008. The latest design ideas will be presented by EDSA, the lead consultant.
When & WhereTuesday, August 26, 2008
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Miami City Hall Chambers
3500 Pan American Drive
For more information on the Virginia Key Master Plan, please visit http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001fAzuQnAG4G5kHMXSSIvu365OGc9htCWRpJ4UAb68OmF2OzoAFqg1X5dYRhgn7nktG3klDljCDkLD1JCNYVtoYnQBTxD_svdVcH3NV0o8wQptq8K62B6OY7628hs5_0GhHWhG3mFiwkDgHSDs5jPyKg==
UpDate (8/27): The "experts," AKA city planners/consultants, came back with the latest designs for Virginia Key. Despite an earlier charette where the public overwhelmingly agreed that the Marine Stadium should be saved, it is glaringly absent from this latest iteration. In its place: Two 5-story parking garages, a "dry-stack" boat storage for 700 boats, 41,000sf of "small scale retail," and Olympic-sized swimming pools among other sundry items. The city and its experts have effectively destroyed one of the few things that makes Miami unique in the world and replaced it with the pedestrian. The Marine Stadium was the only one of its kind on the planet. Now, because it might be "cost prohibitive" to fix-up, we have become a lesser city, less unique, and a people less worthy of being taken seriously, at being looked upon by others as blessed, lucky, special and cool.
UpDate (9/19/08): Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium pulled off a major coup: they got the World Monuments Fund to endorse saving the Marine Stadium. This couldn't have happened at a better time because The City of Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board will discuss and possibly make a determination of the final historic designation of the Miami Marine Stadium at their meeting on Tuesday, October 7, at 3:00 PM, City of Miami Commission Chambers. Failure to do so should make them look like idiots-- or at least suspiciously on the take. If you got the time, try to stop by to make your voice heard.
UpDate (10/7/08): The City of Miami historic preservation board finally saw the light: by a vote of 8-0, it agreed to designate the Miami Marine Stadium worthy of preservation as an historic site. Let's see the visionless try to knock it down now!