With the iconic Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald neon sign torn down, the parking lot locked up and barren, and the building abandoned, it's amazing how quickly 1 Herald Plaza has faded into history. Drive past today and it feels like eons ago that it was the center of Dade's newspapering world, even though the staff moved out only last month.
Then again, it apparently didn't take long for the building to fall into complete disrepair. The city has already hit new owner Genting with an unsafe building structure violation.
Update: Genting says the city erred in sending its violation their way. The unsafe structure in question is apparently the Herald building's old antenna and walkway jutting into Biscayne Bay, neither of which are owned by the resort company.
In a May 22 citation posted in full at ExMiami Forum, city inspectors warn that "violations have resulted in the subject building or structure being declared unsafe."
(Riptide emailed a Genting spokesperson about the letter, but we haven't heard back yet.)
It's not clear exactly what violations the letter references; some kids set a fire at the building, but that prank came June 1, more than a week after the letter was mailed, and the blaze was put out before any serious damage was done.
Sure, Genting plans to tear down the structure anyway to build a posh hotel on the bay, so in the end it doesn't particularly matter that it's falling to pieces.
But watching 1 Herald Plaza crumble into Biscayne Bay adds another layer of sadness to an era gone by. At least put the old giant out of its misery already.
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Update: Here's the statement Genting sent our way on the violation notice:
"The property in question is the walkway and antenna structure over Biscayne Bay. This property is owned by the Beasley Family, with Resorts World Miami's ownership ending where the land meets the water. We received notification from the City last month and responded to this effect."
It's not clear precisely who the "Beasley Family" is, but Beasley Broadcast Group owns a number of radio stations in South Florida. Riptide has left a message with their corporate office to respond; we'll update this post when we hear back.