Sunday, May 01, 2011

Dawntown Miami announces Miami Marine Stadium Floating Stage winners

Please click images to enlarge.

Unfortunately, Verticus' entry didn't make the cut but here it is anyway. It's a "fun homage to the Grand Dame." MVB has argued for years that Miami and the Beaches lack any building that could be labeled "destination architecture." Only after revisiting the Miami Marine Stadium (which we were lobbying since 2007 to restore) for this competition did we realize we were wrong. We've had such a structure since 1963 and it's the Marine Stadium. When it opened, it had the largest unsupported poured concrete canopy in the world. Probably still does. Only in our research for this competition did we learn that iconic roof line also has a descriptive name rooted in mathematics: "hyperbolic paraboloid." Who knew that anything called a hyperbolic paraboloid could look so sexy? The City of Miami should include the building in its official seal, put it in front of the palm tree. 

Re the Miami Marine Stadium, we have also been advocating for years that the City consider finding deep pocketed companies that would help pay for the restoration in exchange for naming rights. One of those companies we suggested was Red Bull with the idea that the stadium would become a marine and air arena. The Red Bull Miami Marine and Air Stadium would host the annual start and finish of the unlimited hydroplane and air racing seasons. 

During our research for the Dawntown Miami competition we got to thinking again about the stadium and what is happening to Virginia Key-- which is never very good when it comes to people who have a problem with thinking outside of the box. With that in mind we would like to suggest that our proposal for the air races also include on the east side of the Miami Marine Stadium basin-- the section that is undeveloped-- a permanent runway/drag strip. Yes, we can already hear the uproar over this idea (it's as loud as two top fuel dragsters smoking their tires at the start of a race)  but it isn't as radical as it seems. The basin is 6,000 feet long (try digging one of those today and you'll end up ostracized for being an insensitive, exploitive despoiler of the environment before the ink has dried on your proposal). We're suggesting building a (insert correct buzz word here:) "low-impact" 2,000-foot runway/dragstrip (see below) directly across from the Marine Stadium with seating for a few thousand on a grassy hill the same length as the stadium. The back side of the hill will drop off precipitously to accommodate an extension of the new "mountain" bike path and would be the steepest and most difficult part of that course. The "hill" would be constructed from the Port of Miami tunnel and channel deepening projects fill. The runway, of course, is for the air races-- a unique plus when you consider most of the airfields for the air races are off site. 

Please click image to enlarge.

Now, about those drag races. Miami needs one for all of those who like racing their cars in this county but don't have a place to do it legally and safely. Yes, there is one on the west end of the Opa Locka airport but it's temporary. Since no one wants a dragstrip in their backyard-- and who can blame them because of the noise pollution?-- a place to race that is a mile or more from the closest human resident happens to exist on Virginia Key across from the Marine Stadium. Using prefab noise abatement walls-- like those lining our freeways-- along the waterline behind the mangroves might make "moot" any issues re noise pollution. The raised natural berm/seating area on the other side of the runway/dragstrip should buffer sound too. To keep things simple and costs down, the pits area for both air and drag racers would be on the far southern end of the strip behind the starting line-- no extra paving for a separate area (this is an eco-friendly project by God!). Movable concrete construction barriers would separate lanes and a single return road. Best yet, the sloping seating area opposite the Marine Stadium could be used to sell "cheap seats" for boat, air racing or other events. Finally, the natural grass berm seating area would front the drag racing finish line, a line that could if need be, be drawn across an 1/8th mile track (660-feet) instead of the traditional 1/4 mile. Spectator parking for the drag races (and air and sea races) uses the spaces already available at the Marine Stadium and proposed parking garages (drag racing fans will have to actually walk around the basin to get to their seats-- hey, it's called exercise. They can walk past the pits to watch the crews working on the racing cars-- and planes-- in an informal, down-home friendly atmosphere). National and International TV coverage for the air races and the drag races can take place on TOP of that sexy Marine Stadium hyperbolic paraboloid.


Rick said...

Is this a comeback?!?!?!?!


Verticus Erectus said...

Sorry, Rick, no comeback. But thanks for still reading this blog.

TIDE ferrari racing said...

Terrific,one of the orgional idea's in 1961 was to have a landing strip,seaplane ramp, sportscar race track,[road course] condos on second floor above race shops. Also,yacht club & resturant complex to be paid for by a group of hydroplane racers & Palm Beach/ Miami sportsmen headed up by hydroplane champion,F.C."Doc" Moor,my dads co-pilot in W.W. ll. [RAF,[1940-1942]U.S,Navy[1942-1945] an airline owner[Southern Air Transport,i.e. CIA]. For additional info please google tom davis tide ferrari racing palm beach or tom davis hydroplanrs. Palm Beach Yacht & Sports Museum 3115 Palm Beach,Fl 33480; email Phone [561] 635 9447 OR [561] 389 3555,Thanks.