Best Landmark - 2009
Miami Marine Stadium
Picture this: A major American city. A dilapidated but beloved sports facility. A stadium that's fondly remembered for its world-class sporting competitions, thrilling rock concerts, and noteworthy presidential appearances. One that has been praised for its architectural beauty and drawn spectators from the four corners of the earth — but is at this very moment in danger of demolition. It's too late for the Orange Bowl and Bobby Maduro Stadium (and maybe even Hialeah Park), but the city of Miami could finally do the right thing by preserving Miami Marine Stadium. Maybe city leaders don't understand the value of this elegant 1964 Modernist masterpiece or its stunning bayside location, but the people do, and the people have banded together as Friends of Miami Marine Stadium to save their facility. Step one in the restoration game was completed last year, when the city's preservation board conferred historic status on the building. That alone won't save the aging edifice, which was badly damaged during Hurricane Andrew, but it can open the faucets to grants, tax breaks, and other inducements that could convince politicians to want to "take credit for rescuing" the stadium.