02 November 2010

Miami Marine Stadium

The Miami Marine Stadium was built in 1964 at a cost of $2 million. Designed by Cuban-American architect Hilario Candela, the grandstand seats 6,566 under a “hyperbolic paraboloid roof structure” made entriely of poured concrete. It is a dramatic piece of architecture.

The stadium was originally used for power boat and hydroplane races, but became a site for concerts and other events over the years. However, the site was closed in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew. While the structure was deemed sound, repairs estimated at $1 million were never made by the City. Since then, the stadium has remained unused and largely unnoticed off the Rickenbacker Causeway on Key Biscayne.

Recently, the site has been reclaimed by graffiti artists. I visited the stadium to take some photographs, intrigued by the decaying state of the building and spray-painted colors.

Unfortunately, however, without repairs the site is not sustainable. Last year, the National Trust designated the Marine Stadium as one of “11 Endangered Historic Places” in the United States. The Friends of Miami Marine Stadium are working to save the structure. Their website includes links to archival footage of boat races, Jimmy Buffet concerts, and an episode of Miami Vice that used the location. In fact, Buffet himself narrated a video plea to save the historic stadium.

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