The fight over Genting's casino-fueled plans for the current site of the Miami Herald building has been thrown a hitch by an unlikely party: the Dade Heritage Trust. You see, they think that big brown and beige box which is basically at this point a glorified backdrop for giant Apple iPad banner ads, is worthy of being deemed a protected landmark despite being less than 50 years old.
The Herald, in a piece that rings of a certain "Yay, you think our old building is special" prideful tone, lays out the Dade Heritage Trust's argument.
- The building is apparently an example of local MiMo architecture. This, despite the fact it was designed by a Chicago firm. The same firm that also designed the very similar (and now demolished) Chicago Sun-Times building. So, really how locally significant could the style of architecture be? Genting's plans may be a whole other type of ugly, but at least its ugly designed by Miami architects.
- The trust thinks the significance the Herald has played in local affairs throughout the city's history should be considered. Though, that seems more like something best upheld in the current pages of the paper, and not in the building it happens to have been put together in.
- It's "iconic."
For anyone who thinks this is some sort of anti-casino move on the part of the trust, think again.
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"Could this building be incorporated into a casino? Of course it can,'' planner and co-author of MiMo: Miami Modern Revealed Randall Robinson tells the Herald.
Slots in Dave Berry's old office? The Carl Hiaason Roulette Wheel?
Genting could even build around the site, and build a tower on top. Of course, Genting has bigger hurdles to overcome than preservation boards. Namely, the state legislature. If Genting is unsuccessful in bringing full service casinos to Florida, it could move to cut its losses and sell the property. Though, a historic designation for the Herald building could stymie any future, possible non-casino development plans as well.