Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 2:34 p.m.
With news that Bacardi will soon be moving to blander headquarters in blander Coral Gables, preservationists are making a preemptive move to ensure their iconic buildings in midtown Miami are protected with landmark status, even though neither is old enough to typically qualify. The Historic Preservation Board meets today to discuss the proposal; let's hope there won't be a hiccup despite the age issue.
The next question: What exactly will these building be used for? Preservationists hope a cultural center or nonprofit in need of a new HQ will swoop in. Yawn. Besides, the nonprofit sector isn't exactly awash in money, plus there happens to be another cultural center a few blocks down whose level of success doesn't exactly demonstrate a need for yet more culture.
We've always thought the younger of the two buildings -- the perfect square wrapped in a glass mural perched atop a bright red pedestal -- would make an awesome restaurant or nightclub. There are probably dozens of zoning and code issues that would prevent this, but this was the Bacardi building, after all. It would only be fitting that the place where people diligently worked on the business success of a product used for mixed drinks, body shots, and general hedonism actually became the site of said hedonism. Maybe not the greatest idea, but do you have a better one?