Best Local Landmark Miami 2010 - The Freedom Tower
For locals, the thought of downtown Miami conjures visions of our mega arena, contemporary skyscrapers, and the 17-story Spanish-style building that holds more history than all of its steel neighbors combined: the Freedom Tower. The building's ornate details, intricate points, and curves reminiscent of the Giralda Tower of Seville, along with pale peach and yellow tones, provide a stark contrast to the surrounding sea of modernism. Constructed in 1925, the building is Miami's version of Ellis Island. Between 1962 and 1974, the former home of the Miami Daily News became el refugio, a U.S. immigration station for Cuban refugees flooding South Florida. Today the National Historic Landmark is part of the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus and is used for events and exhibitions. So next time you're downtown and see Dwyane Wade's face shining on the arena's three-story-high LED screen, turn around, stand proud, and soak up Miami's ultimate landmark. To get a closer look, visit the tower Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., or call for a private tour. Most art exhibitions are free.