Miami Landmarks and Monuments
(Miami, Florida - FL, USA)
The layout of Miami is very much centered around its beach districts and coastline, with many notable landmarks and buildings residing within the planned communities of Biscayne Park, Coconut Grove, Little Haiti and Little Havana. In the suburb of Coral Gables, the Merrick House is a real highlight with a fascinating story to tell.
If you are heading to the North Miami Beach neighborhood, then you really should check out the 'Ancient Spanish Monastery' or St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church, which was actually built in Spain in the early 12th century, before being relocated to the US in the mid-20th century - rather unsuccessfully at first. Close by and also on the northern side of Miami is the adjoining city of Opa-Locka, which is just north of the Nathaniel Traz Powell Stadium and best reached via the Interstate I-95. The principal landmark here is the rather quirky Opa-Locka City Hall, which really does look like it should belong to a maharaja from India.
Address: 600 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida FL, 33132, USA
Tel: +1 305 237 7700
Located on the Biscayne Boulevard and close to the American Airlines Arena, the Freedom Tower resides on the eastern side of downtown Miami, close to the waterfront, where it boasts Mediterranean Revival style architecture. Listed as a US National Historic Landmark in 2008, the tower was built in the mid-1920s to serve as the head office for Miami News, who vacated the premises in 1957. In the sixties, the federal government was based here, using the offices to process immigration requests, and from the seventies onwards, the ownership has changed hands a number of times, with the tower being privately owned before being gifted to Dade College. Inspired by the Giralda Bell Tower in Seville, the yellow and white Freedom Tower appears at its best when viewed from afar.
Coral Gables Merrick House and Gardens
Address: 907 Coral Way, Coral Gables, Florida FL, 33134, USA
Tel: +1 305 460 5361
Situated in the southwesterly Coral Gables region, the George Merrick House is a notable local landmark and is to be found close to Young Park, the Granada Golf Course and the Salvadore Park Tennis Center. This historic home was formerly the family residence of renowned real estate developer, George Edgar Merrick (1886 to 1942), who was responsible for the planning and building of the Coral Gables suburb. Interestingly, this house was actually designed from a sketch drawn by the wife of Merrick, with the columns, large verandah, classical features and gardens combining to make this a very special place. Today, the house is used by the community for local events and receptions, while guided tours operate every week, on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Open hours: Wednesday and Sunday - 13:00 to 16:00, gardens open every daily
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors and children between six and 12 years old, children six years old and under are free
Opa-Locka City Hall
Address: 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-Locka, Florida FL, USA
Tel: +1 305 953 2821
Situated on the northern side of Miami, next to Sherbondy Park, the Opa-Locka City Hall is certainly one of the most unusual and unique landmarks that the city has to offer. Appearing more like a palatial Indian mosque than a traditional American city hall, Opa-Locka was created in the 1920s by the hand of renowned property developer and aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss (1878 to 1930). The building is very hard to overlook, with its large domes and minarets, ornate arches, fortifications, white-washed walls and surrounding palm trees.
Ancient Spanish Monastery / St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church
Address: 16711 West Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach, Florida FL, 33160, USA
Tel: +1 305 945 1461
Based within the North Miami Beach area, next to the Biscayne Boulevard and just across from Greynolds Park, many will simply know the St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church as the Spanish Monastery. The history of the monastery is really quite extraordinary, with it being originally built in the Spanish province of Segovia roughly 900 years ago. Purchased by one William Randolph Hearst, the cloisters and various outbuildings were dismantled brick by brick, before being carefully packed in crates and then shipped all the way to New York
. However, problems with shipping meant that the complex labeling system was mixed up, and combined with subsequent financial troubles, the monastery remained in a Brooklyn warehouse until 1952, when the structure was finally reassembled in Miami, within the grounds of a plant nursery. Now ranking amongst the Western Hemisphere's oldest buildings, the aptly named Ancient Spanish Monastery is used as a church and for various functions.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 16:00, Sunday - 13:00 to 17:30
Admission: charge, discounts available to seniors and children under 12 years old
Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami
Address: 1015 North American Way, Miami, Florida FL, 33132, USA
Tel: +1 305 371 7678
This sizeable seaport remains the largest cruise port on the planet and resides within Biscayne Bay. Each year in excess of four million visitors use this busy port, arriving and departing via giant luxury cruise ships. The port is based on Dodge Island, which is made up of the islands of Dodge, Lummus and Sam's, and is linked to the downtown district by the Port Boulevard bridge spanning the Intracoastal Waterway.