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They Built This City

The view of our skyline full of cranes and skeletal structures dotted with sweaty construction workers is as commonplace as the soaring buzzards around downtown Miami. But we are not here to salute hardhat-clad men and women, teetering on scaffolding 100 feet in the air. No, this month is about celebrating the people who wear suits, hunch over tilted desks, and sketch building designs in that strange, slanted handwriting. (Well, maybe that’s how Mr. Brady did it in the Seventies, but now there’s AutoCAD.) November is Celebrate Architecture Month, and the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has planned nearly 30 days of parties, tours, and lectures, including a partnership with Architectural Digest, which is hosting its own Architecture Days tours.

“Miami enjoys a distinguished design past, and the city is re-emerging as a scene for incredible architecture,” Amy Churgin, vice president and publisher of Architectural Digest, said when asked about the magazine’s interest in this local event. “With the opening of the new Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, Miami’s skyline is rapidly evolving.”

Tonight’s lecture is by an architect who may be renowned but is probably eating lunch by himself these days. If the Polish-born Daniel Libeskind is feeling the heat from critics bashing his new addition to the Denver Art Musuem -- “its tortured geometries make it a daunting place to install or view art,” states the New York Times -- then being the master planner for the heavily criticized rebuilding at Ground Zero must be like swimming in a vat of boiling oil. See what he has to say about being cast as Frank Lloyd Wrong when he discusses his memoir, Breaking Ground: Adventures in Life and Architecture, at 7:30 at the University of Miami’s Storer Auditorium. Admission is seven dollars; free for faculty and students. Call 305-271-9000, ext. 268 for reservations. To learn more about the architect, visit

If you are more interested in the changing shoreline, put on your bikini and head to Crandon Park (4000 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne) Sunday, November 5, for the Archipro Sandblast Sand Sculpture Competition. No permits are needed for these beachfront properties that will disappear with the tide by day’s end. Visit for a complete schedule and to purchase tickets.
Nov. 2-12


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