Miami's Marine Stadium: County Rallies to Landmark's Restoration

The Miami Marine Stadium might get a second life thanks to $3 million promised by the Miami-Dade County Commission. But where the rest of needed funding will come from is yet to be seen.

This South Florida icon was the site for everything from rock concerts and political rallies to regattas and wake-board contests. Designed by locally renowned architect Hilario Candela when he was only 27, the waterfront structure stood as an example of modern architecture. It's made completely of poured concrete and faces a 6,000-by-1,400-foot water basin.

Miami Marine Stadium's glory days began to fade in the late 1980s when its use declined. The final blow came in 1992 when it was damaged by monster Hurricane Andrew, which also crippled the Homestead community in southern Miami-Dade County and caused considerable losses in Key Biscayne, its island home.

An engineering study commissioned then by City of Miami leaders assessed stadium repairs at $2 million to $3 million, but those never began.

For almost two decades, decay and neglect sullied the once-gleaming spot. That is until 2009, when under threat of seeing it demolished for new development, the Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium formed and the National Trust for Historic Preservation put it 11th on its list of America's Most Endangered Historic Places.

Its endangered status might be dropped thanks to a unanimous vote by the Miami-Dade Commission to spend $3 million on restoring the facility, reports the Miami Herald.

But that might not be enough: Now the cost is estimated at between $5.6 and $8.5 million.

Miami officials are optimistic that the promised county money gives them the leverage to raise more funds. Let's hope so, because the space is ripe for a comeback.

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