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  POINTS OF INTEREST (written in 1941)

Downtown Miami

BAYFRONT PARK, Biscayne Blvd. between SE. 2nd St. and NE. 6th St., and extending to Biscayne Bay, consists of 42 acres of land pumped from the bay and landscaped with tropical shrub bery. Pelicans and gulls are seen on a sandspit jutting out into the bay.

The AMPHITHEATRE was the scene on February 15, 1933 of an attempt on the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then President-elect, that resulted in the death of Mayor Anton J. Cermak, of Chicago; in March, 1939, a plaque was unveiled in his memory. The amphi theatre is planted with profusion of royal and coconut palms and has a cream yellow stucco stage of oriental design with a gray platform and a red bordered brown curtain. A turquoise colored marquee bordered with a red and green striped awning topped with a dome painted turquoise and buff covers the central stage. The stucco structure is topped by two towers with onion-shaped domes painted in blue and silver. The equipment includes a loud-speaker and the green benches seat 8,000.

The main PROMENADE, bordered by vivid flower beds, and hedges of royal palms and clipped pine leads from the foot of E. Flagler St. to the bay. Benches line the promenade and the bayfront where Miamians and visitors come to watch the sunrise or the re flected glow of the sunset. Strollers crossing the park s broad lawns should watch for almost invisible guy-wires that anchor many of the large trees against the wind.

North of the main promenade are two telescopes of the South ern Cross Observatory. The telescope is placed on an iron standard and is furnished with eye pieces allowing magnifications from 55 to 260 power, diagonal and sun glasses, and slow motion apparatus. Free lectures are given Tues., Thurs., Fri. and Sunday Evenings.

A ROCK GARDEN in the park, built of coral rock and planted with palms, ferns and other tropical growths is a cool haven. There is a stone house and benches here and bird song can be heard.

In the MUNICIPAL YACHT BASIN, N. of Bayfront Park at Biscayne Blvd. and NE. 6th St., stream-lined pleasure boats and deep sea fishing boats come and go daily. At one of the piers tickets are sold by the carnival method for sightseeing, fishing and glass-bottom boat trips. At another pier is the deep sea fishing fleet where trim speed-boats dock, advertising "one or two places for tomorrow." People crowd the pier when the fishing boats come in, bearing their catches of sailfish, shark, barracuda, tarpon and other deep sea game fish. Then the shining gear of the boats and the day s catch are open to inspection. Most boats have bamboo poles attached to the cabin which are drawn up when in port like masts but dropped at an angle when in fishing waters so the bait swims high on the surface to attract gamey fish. Several boats have harpooning decks extending forward from the bows. Game fish prizes are posted on a large mechanically operated bulletin board.

The MIAMI AQUARIUM (R) is a ship set in sand on Biscayne Blvd. at NE. 6th. St. In front of the entrance girl artists make portrait sketches for a tip, and two agile monkeys, chained to a revolving iron ladder, swing tirelessly around and around. The vessel is the Prinz Valdcmar an old Danish barkentine. During the boom it was converted into a night club, and while it was being towed to its location off Miami Beach, it sank in the bottle neck of Miami harbor, blocking it when the city was in greatest need of lumber and supplies stowed in the ships waiting outside. After several months, it was raised and brought to its present location.

In 1927 it was set in cement and fitted out as an aquarium. Live exhibits include sea turtles of several species, starfish, sea anemones, sea urchins, stone crabs, crawfish or Florida lobsters, shrimp, sea bis cuits, conchs, morays (infectious but non-poisonous eels), sharks, stingrays or "stingarees," alligators, crocodiles and two manatees or sea cows, seldom seen in captivity. Mounted specimens include a bar racuda, a jewfish, a swordfish, a shovel-head shark and scores of shell specimens.

In cages on the upper deck are Florida "gophers" or terrapins, ground hogs, a baboon, monkeys, four raccoons, an eagle and, sur prisingly enough, two bob-tailed chickens. There are tables on deck for eating and drinking and seats for those who wish to sit and look out over the fishing decks and the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay.

The MIAMI DAILY NEWS TOWER, Biscayne Blvd. at NE. 6th St., standing near the site of the original Florida East Coast R. R. tracks, is a representation of the Giralda tower of Seville. This ocher-colored adaptation has somewhat modified the structure of modern needs in the introduction of extra windows, but the general effect has been preserved. The portals of this building embody striking detail in huge capped columns and scroll arch, with a Spanish shield or keystone.

Within the foyer are panels in relief depicting the evolution of the art of painting.

The MIAMI HARBOR, E. of the News Tower, occupies an area purchased by the city from Henry M. Flagler at a cost of $1,000,000. Great liners dock here during the tourist season, many of which come from foreign ports.

DADE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, W. Flagler St. at NW. i st. Ave., is the most imposing structure of the community and occupies a full city square. Resting upon a pedestal base, the general style is that of a straight line levantine composition. The lower floors are a reproduction, in pillars and frieze, of the Parthenon. Above this section several other stories are supported by fluted columns surmounted by floriated caps. Just under the pyramid apex a fine example of an octagonal Greek temple with "criteria" embellished gable roof appears. Mosaics adorn the ceiling of the main corridor.

The 16th to the 25th floors are occupied by the city and county "escape-proof" jail. The pyramidal summit is 28 stories above the pavement. Completed at a cost of $4,000,000 in 1928 the building is illuminated at night and can be seen 15 miles away.

The CITY CURB MARKET, SW. 2nd Ave. and Miami River, is a white building with a red tile roof and open on all sides. One end is devoted to small plants and flowers, cut and potted, on counters or in tiers against the wall.

Fresh, locally grown vegetables are piled high in the stalls; tropical jellies and preserved fruits are displayed; odd fruits such as the brown sapodilla, guava, mango, scarlet Surinam cherry, golden tangelo and kumquat are ranged side by side with oranges, grape fruit, tiny lady-finger bananas, and strawberries. One corner of the building contains the meat department. The fish and seafood stalls are in an adjoining building, directly on the river bank.

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, E. Flagler St. at SE. 3rd Ave., is a white stucco rectangular structure with a Corinthian facade. A square tower at the rear of the edifice is designed like that of an old Scottish church. This, Miami s oldest church, was completed in 1900. Almost incredible offers were made for the land during the boom but Henry M. Flagler, the donor of the land and builder of the church, specified that it was never to be sold.

SITE OF ROYAL PALM PARK, just E. of the church, is in dicated by a few of the original coconut palms. Here stood the band shell, destroyed by fire March 21, 1928, where William Jen nings Bryan once held his out-door Bible classes, and where Arthur Pryor's band played twice daily during the boom. The grounds are now occupied by several buildings and a parking lot.

ROYAL PALM HOTEL GROUNDS, SE. 2nd St. and SE. 3 rd Ave. was once the site of the Royal Palm Hotel. The gardens contain many large specimens of tropical trees and shrubs. The large frame structure painted the yellow and white with which Flagler often adorned his buildings, was demolished in 1930. After the Breakers Hotel burned in Palm Beach those who had patronized the fashionable Flagler hotels began to consider these wooden build ings fire traps. The furnishings of the Royal Palm were shabby. During its last days visitors paid $25 for a room in which they were likely to stumble over the worn carpets. Flagler s F.E.C. went into bankruptcy, the buildings needed repairs, business didn t war rant any restoration and this combination of events caused the hotel to be closed. When the building was torn down the lumber was so was so eaten by termites it could not be sold as second-hand material.

PFLUEGER S MARINE MUSEUM, 1367 N. Miami Ave., was once a bank building. The high ceiling supported by massive columns in the one time lobby makes an impressive setting for the hundreds of mounted fish that, in or out of glass cases, line the snow-white walls. The large cases fit between the columns and are perhaps eight inches deep; the narrow cases are the width of the columns and very shallow. Each case has a reef scene painted naturalistically as a background for the brilliantly colored fish. Al most every kind of fish found in Florida waters may be seen; red, blue, green, gold, black, purple. They run the gamut of rainbow colors. Odd and exotic in appearance, some of the names are intriguing: rainbow parrot, mud parrot, red-lined parrot, four-eye butterfly, angel, trigger, tang, and file.

The museum is open daily from 9 a. m. to 7 p. m. and admis sion is free.

Northwest Miami

MIAMI LUMMUS PARK TOURIST CENTER, NW. 3 rd St. and NW. River Dr. (R), has a RECREATIONAL AREA of bowl ing greens, croquet, roque, horseshoe and shuffleboard courts, a clubhouse, an illuminated checker and chess pavilion and a juvenile section. Miami Lummus Park is not to be confused with Miami Beach Lummus Park.

OLD FORT DALLAS, NW. section of the park, was built by Federal soldiers during the Seminole War and was the southern terminus of the Capron Trail. The building was originally at SE. ist Ave. and Miami River. The present structure, housing the headquarters of the D.A.R., is of white limestone with doors and windows of hand-wrought iron. The building was made from the materials of the original fort.

The SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE, directly N. of the park, a large buff stucco building with a green tile roof and pyramided dome, is distinguished by its trend toward Egyptian architecture. The bold lines of the heavy pillars from base to cap are topped by figures of the two-headed Phoenix.

COPPINGER S PIRATES COVE AND TROPICAL GARDENS, N.W. 19th Ave. and Miami River, (open 8-6 daily; adm. 2Sc) (see Boat Trip 1).

KNOWLTON S TROPICAL FISH AQUARIUM, 1525 N.W. 2jth Ave. (R) (open 9-5 daily), is a shop with many varieties of tropical fish, goldfish and a collection of tropical birds including canaries, parakeets and doves.

ORCHID DELL GARDENS, .NW. 2 7 th Ave. NW. i6th St. (R) (open 9-5 daily: adm. 25c), has rare and commercially grown orchids. Broad-leaved ferns hang on the walls and in one corner a decorative fountain trickling into a mossy pool preserves the proper degree of humidity within the building.

MUSA ISLE INDIAN VILLAGE, NW. 26th Ave. and Miami River, (open 9-6 daily; adm. 25c), presents the Seminole Indians as they live in their camps. At the entrance to the camp is a trad ing post where the handiwork of the Indians is displayed for sale. Insida the village are the thatch-roofed platforms where the Indians live. Here also are a small zoo and a museum containing specimens of animal and bird life. Alligator wrestling is featured morning and afternoon, the exact time depending on the crowd.

HEN HOTEL, NW. 27 th Ave. and NW. 34 th St. (L), is a large unfinished structure that was started as a hotel during the boom of 1925. A hatchery composed of 60,000 laying hens 50,000 fryers and 50,000 incubator chicks was once housed here and since that time the building is facetiously called the "Million Dollar Hen Hotel."

BISCAYNE FRONTON, NW. 37 th Ave. and NW. 35 th St. (adm. 25*7), is a large, coral tinted stucco building. A marquee is supported by blue columns with red capitals. Exhibitions of jai-alai are played here each night throughout the winter (see Sports}.

HIALEAH PARK RACE TRACK, E. 4 th Ave. and 2 5 th St. (L) (open 7-6 daily, free, except during racing season when adm. is $1.35 for grandstand, $4 for clubhouse], is approached through an avenue of tall royal palms planted with oleanders and a croton hedge. The vine-covered grandstand and the clubhouse built in 1931 are screened with clipped Australian pine and planted with purple bougainvillea; the combined seating capacity is 10,500. The wide, oval track, set in a broad expanse of lawn and vivid flower-beds, surrounds a 32-acre lake in which pink flamingos, seen from the grandstand, look like a great bed of pink water-lilies. These birds, 300 in number were brought from southern Cuba and are kept in the park by clipping their wings. Flamingos normally nest only in the tropics, and the one bird hatched in the park lake in 1936 was at that time the only one known to have been born in North America. It died at three weeks of age and is mounted, together with an adult specimen, in a glass case on the southern pavilion. During the winter of 1939-40, however, sixty-five young birds were hatched, all of them surviving. Black swans and white swans are also kept in the lake. A 2$o-foot trellis at the back of the grand stand is overgrown with purple bougainvillea. Behind the stands is the Australian totalizer, a large electrically operated board upon which the winners and the odds are posted. About 1,500 horses are housed in the stables which are a part of the race track plant.

The SEA SHELL HOUSE, 2115 NW. 5 6th St. (private) was constructed with 44 bushels of sea shells, geometrically patterned and imbedded in cement. The owner collected the shells at beaches on the east Florida coast.

The NATIVE WOOD EXHIBIT, 2923 NW. 7 th St., (adm. free), is the result of years of research and collecting by the late owner, H. B. Vivian. Among the collection of native woods, seeds, and leaves are an assortment of dried anonas including cherimoya, soursop, sugar apple and "Bullock s heart."

Some specimens show the various uses of the common palmetto trunk; several hard spheres resembling mahogany cannon balls are tree calabashes; an odd idol-like figure is made of red berries from the aden-enthera tree of Africa, otaheite apple wood, and choma tecoma argenta wood from Africa; a table has been manufactured from a strangler fig bole, a segment of which serves as the table top. The single leg is a red-stopper, a Florida hammock tree. There is a full-grown coconut the size of a small hickory nut; a man-sized vase, its lower half a gigantic coconut bole, hollowed out, the upper half a cabbage tree trunk.

Glass cases line the walls, in which are displayed thousands of seeds and dried leaves, native and exotic.

Northeast Miami

MIAMI WOMAN S CLUB BUILDING, at NE. i/th Terrace and the Bayfront, is a five-story buff stucco building with a red tile roof and three tiers of balconies overlooking a patio on the north side of the building. This club maintains the FLAGLER MEMORIAL LIBRARY (open 9:30-5:30 daily except Tues. and Sat., 9:30-9). The MIAMI FLORIDA WPA ART GALLERIES are also located here. (Open 9-4 daily except Sundays.)

A large CRYSTALLIZING PLANT, 3831 NE. 2nd Ave. (R) (open 9-5 week days; guides) gives forth an aroma of candied fruit. The four-story buff stucco building is trimmed with green. The specialty is fruit cake baked in crystallized grapefruit. Fruit crystal lizing in this plant requires up to 30 days for completion.

LIBERTY SQUARE, NW. nth Ave. to NW. 111th Ave. between 62nd and 6/th Sts., is a 62-acre tract on which a Negro housing project is built by the Federal Housing Administration at a cost of nearly $1,000,000. In the center of the square is an admin istration building and recreation hall of white stucco with grayish white shingles. The other 34 buildings are made of similar ma terials, and consist of 243 family units fronting on palm-planted courts provided with sand piles and playground equipment for chil dren. The houses are of storm proof construction and an air of cleanliness prevails throughout the project. In 1939 there were 730 additional units provided at a cost of approximately $1,600,000.

Southeast Miami

BRICKELL PARK, Brickell Ave. between jth and 6th Sts. (L) has a variety of tropical vegetation.

SIMPSON PARK (open) S. Miami Ave. and S.E. ijth Rd. was named for Dr. Charles T. Simpson, pioneer South Florida naturalist, and created for the preservation of one of the few native hammocks in the city. Picnic grounds are open to the public.

VILLA SERENA, 3115 Brickell Ave. and 3 2nd Rd. (L) (private) was the home of the late William Jennings Bryan. The large, white stucco house with green tile roof of Colonial design, is visible through tropical shrubbery.

The JAMES DEERING ESTATE, 3250 S. Miami Ave. (private) , is known as Villa Viscaya. After five years of construc tion, it was completed in 1916 at a cost of $15,000,000. The house and grounds are screened from the road by a pink concrete wall with primitive designs or symbols scratched into the concrete, topped with festoons of orange flame flower and purple bougainvillea. The house is not visible from the road.

U. S. COAST GUARD AIR STATION (open 1-5 S*/., 10-5 Sun.) S. Bayshore Dr. at Aviation St., has a gray stucco hangar housing the planes of the Coast Guard fleet. The hangar opens on the east where a concrete runway gives amphibian planes passage into the bay. From S. Bayshore Dr. the building is approached through a landscaped yard; the main drive is lined by hibiscus and red-leaved acalyphia clipped to uniform size.

In times of national emergency the Coast Guard comes under the jurisdiction of the Navy; otherwise it operates under a branch of the Treasury Department. Aside from rescuing crippled craft, the Coast Guard provides medical service for those taken ill at sea, makes flights with serum, and transports ill seamen to the Key West Marine Hospital. Other activities include transportation of Federal prisoners, aerial surveys, storm warnings, and mosquito control flights. The Dinner Key Station was established in 1932.

PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS BASE (open), 2500 S. Bayshore Dr., is approached through an avenue of royal palms centered with a parkway planted with purple bougainvillea, scarlet hibiscus and other tropical plants.

On the bayfront the terminal building, erected in 1934 on land pumped in from Biscayne Bay, is a smooth white stucco structure of modern design, two stories high in the center, with one-story wings. The central two-story section is circled with a yellow and white frieze of rising suns and winged globes and is connected at the corners by sculptured eagles. Standard weather equipment is mounted on top of the building.

Quiet shades of blue and gray decorate the interior. In the center of the room a zo-foot revolving globe shows the airlines in colors. The beamed ceiling, two-stories high, is decorated in blue and gray with signs of the zodiac surrounding a compass. A frieze in the same tones of blue and gray traces the progress of aviation from Leonardo da Vinci s design of 1490 for a bird-shaped air plane to the Martin commercial ship of 1933. On the mezzanine floor are offices and a restaurant and a cocktail room overlooking Biscayne Bay.

The operations of the airline are carried on with quiet efficiency and courtesy in offices and through grilled ticket windows. Blueclad pilots and airline officials move in and out through doors to the loading piers. An omnipresent voice speaking through a care fully toned loudspeaker system announces departures and arrivals of clipper ships to and from West Indian and South American ports Havana, Merida, San Juan, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires. From an outer promenade, atop the single-story wings of the building, takeoffs and landings of the giant clipper ships can be seen. Passengers are ushered into an outgoing plane, the door is closed, moorings are loosed, the four motors begin to throb, the plane moves out between two rows of buoys, leaving a broadening white wake behind, turns into the wind in open water, and presently is in the air settling to its course. Soon it is only a dot against a bright sky. The watchers on the promenade come to, sigh, put their cameras away, and go downstairs.

Pan American planes run daily both ways to Havana, a i l/2- hour trip, and every Thursday to Merida, Mexico, in 5 hours. There are daily trips to Nassau, requiring only 2 hours. Clippers come and go five times a week to Buenos Aires, by the east and west coasts of South America. The east coast trip takes 6 days of daytime flight, with stops at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Para, Brazil; Recife, Brazil; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and on to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The more direct west coast route take 4^/2 days, with overnight stops at Barranquila, Colombia; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Arica, Chile; Santiago, Chile; ending the run at Buenos Aires.

Points of Interest in Miami Environs

THE NORTH MIAMI ZOO (open 9-6:30 daily: adm.: 2$c, chil dren 15^), 1 3 6th St., North Miami, is privately operated and was formerly known as the Opa Locka Zoo. More than 200 exhibits include 3,000 animals and tropical birds, and a reptile collection of unusual variety. Every afternoon at 4 o clock and hourly on Sunday an animal show is conducted; trained monkeys, dogs, ponies, and birds are exhibited at these shows. The New York Zoo logical Society sent a colony of giant Galapagos turtles to the zoo, which, although still relatively young, weigh over 200 pounds each. When brought to the zoo a few years ago these mammoth land turtles weighed about seven pounds each.

Many of the exhibits are kept in outdoor cages. Some animals are tame and several wander at liberty including a young deer and peacocks.

GREYNOLDS PARK, Dixie Highway just north of North Miami, was built and landscaped by CCC labor in an area of abandoned rock pits. A stone observation tower with a spiral ramp is patterned after an Aztec temple. A pavilion of native rock overlooks the blue lagoons of the former rock pits. On the western side of the park are picnic grounds in a native hammock, and groves of glossy Caribbean pines. There are boating and swim ming facilities.

ARCH CREEK, NE. 2nd Ave., North Miami, is bridged by a natural rock formation. During the Seminole Indian War this bridge was the scene of several skirmishes, and from Indian mounds nearby many shell and stone artifacts have been taken. Some of these artifacts are on display at a house (open) beside the bridge.

The BATTLE CREEK SANITARIUM, Park Way, Miami Springs, is the southern division of an institution founded in Michigan by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. The building resembles the cliff-dwellings of the southwestern American Indians; story rises above story in a terrace-like arrangement and the whole is topped by a mound-shaped cupola. It was built for a hotel by Glenn Curiiss, the pioneer aviator.

The EASTERN AIRWAYS, NW. 3 6th St., occupies buildings that were formerly the terminal of the Pan American Airways. The central building houses the waiting rooms and offices; the adjoining buildings are used as repair shops. The front grounds are beauti fully landscaped; the landing field is in the rear. The MIAMI MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, 11229 NW. 42nd Ave., the third airport established in the United States, was built in 1912 by the Curtiss Exhibition Co., headed by Glenn Curtiss, the pioneer aviator. The annual Ail-American air maneuvers are staged here, usually in December. Military, commercial, and private planes converge on Miami from all parts of the country. A hundred navy planes execute intricate maneuvers and aerial clowns put their planes through stunts. Great army bombers drop earthward to loose imaginary explosives while racing planes circle the pylons. An exhibition of commercial planes, comparable to an automobile show, is conducted in connection with the meet.

OPA LOCKA, NW. 27th Ave., takes its name from the be ginning and ending of Opatishawockalocka, the Seminole word for hammock. Standing in a relatively high area, the domes and minarets of its ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, patterned after a Mohammedan mosque, can be seen for miles. The homes and buildings for this area, developed by Glenn Curtiss, copy Moroccan, Arabian, Egyptian, and Persian architecture, and the streets bear Iranian names.

The UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE AVIATION BASE (not open), Opa Locka, is a 25o-acre tract where naval and marine corps reservists attached to the station are trained. Property and hangars are leased to the Navy by the City of Miami.

The MIAMI MUNICIPAL DIRIGIBLE HANGAR, Opa Locka, is a black and orange building standing across the field from the naval base. During the season this structure houses two Goodyear blimps that make sightseeing trips from a downtown base.

The MOORING MAST, Opa Locka, is one of the five in the U. S. with complete mooring facilities for large dirigibles. The Macon, the Akron and the Graf Zeppelin are among the ships that have moored here.

provided by:
PLANNING YOUR VACATION IN FLORIDA - MIAMI AND DADE COUNTY, INCLUDING MIAMI BEACH AND CORAL GABLES
AMERICAN GUIDE SERIES - 1941

 

 

 

 

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