National Treasures

If Seats Could Talk: Pulling Off A Pageant At Miami Marine Stadium

Posted on: April 25th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn

 

Miami Marine Stadium in 2012. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Miami Marine Stadium in 2012

Although the Miami Marine Stadium sits empty today, it still echoes with the shouts and cheers of audiences that gathered to watch everything from speedboat races to Easter Sunday sunrise services at the waterfront venue. The stadium served as an entertainment hub of the Miami community, and sometimes, a launching pad for careers in the entertainment industry.

In part four of our “If Seats Could Talk” series, compiled by the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium in an effort to increase support for restoration of the venue, we focus on the story of Frank Mercado-Valdez, who, along with some of his fraternity brothers, took on the task of putting on the first Miss Collegiate Black America Contest in 1985.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

 

In July 1971, President Nixon (1913–1994) appointed Sammy Davis, Jr. (1925–1990), to his National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity. Credit: Marion S. Trikosko, U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection, Library of Congress
In July 1971, President Nixon appointed Sammy Davis Jr. to his National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity.

Though it’s been closed for 20 years, the 6,566-seat Miami Marine Stadium has seen its share of excitement since it was built in 1963. You’ve read about the boat races, concerts, and boxing matches held there in both the Spring 2013 issue of Preservation magazine and in the first two parts of our “If Seats Could Talk” series, a collection of stories compiled by the Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium to raise awareness and increase support for the venue’s restoration.

In part three, Stuart Blumberg shares his experience attending a political rally at the stadium -- and witnessing an embrace that went down in history.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

 

North side of Sugar Pine Bridge. Half Dome is viewed through the trees at left rear.
North side of Sugar Pine Bridge. Half Dome is viewed through the trees at left rear.

Last year we added the bridges of Yosemite Valley to our 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list and our National Treasures portfolio out of concern for how the National Park Service’s plan to manage the Merced River would impact the historic Rustic-style stone bridges that span the river. Despite our ongoing advocacy efforts, earlier this year the National Park Service released a draft plan calling for the demolition of the beloved Sugar Pine Bridge and 100 other historic structures in the Yosemite Valley Historic District.

Photographer Brian Grogan generously agreed to share with us some of his gorgeous photos of Yosemite’s bridges and his thoughts about their importance to the park’s landscape. Take a minute to be dazzled by these bridges’ rustic simplicity, and then send a message to the National Park Service that urges their stewardship of these precious structures.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

1975 Champion Spark Plug Regatta. Courtesy Friends of Miami Marine Stadium
Scene from the 1975 Champion Spark Plug Regatta

Since 1963, Miami Marine Stadium was not only an iconic piece of Modernist architecture, but a entertainment venue unlike any other. The setting for countless boat races, concerts, and even religious services, the stadium brought life to the Miami community -- even though sometimes the activities it held nearly took it away.

In part two of our “If Seats Could Talk” series, compiled by the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium in an effort to increase support for the restoration of the venue, we highlight the experience of race boat driver Johnny Reed, who remembers the stadium from a rather different perspective.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

 

Spectators watch a twilight concert on Biscayne Bay at the Miami Marine Stadium, 1967. Credit: Florida Photographic Collection
Spectators watch a twilight concert on Biscayne Bay at the Miami Marine Stadium, 1967.

It was the site of speedboat races, rollicking concerts, beauty pageants, and countless floating family picnics and fishing trips, but today, the distinctive Miami Marine Stadium sits empty -- with the exception of decades of memories lingering in the salt-tinged oceanfront air.

In an effort to drum up support for the stadium’s revitalization, the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium have been collecting locals’ recollections of the stadium during its heyday. Today we kick off our “If Seats Could Talk” series with memories of music and merriment from Mark Fried.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.