The most obvious metaphor in Miami gentrification history is playing out in Wynwood this week. One of the neighborhood's iconic murals, which bemoaned humanity's gradual slide from paradise to urban hell, has been demolished to pave the way for the neighborhood's first high-rise parking garage.
The building, on the corner of NW 27th Street and NW Third Avenue, directly across from the zebra-striped Wynwood building (and New Times headquarters), used to exclaim "I remember paradise" to passersby:
As of this morning, the building — which has inspired scores of Twitter and Facebook banner photos, and has served as the backdrop for hundreds of wedding photos, modeling shots, and low-budget hip-hop videos — is officially rubble:
New Times tagged along as artist Lakwena Maciver painted the mural in 2013 — the work was commissioned as part of the Women on the Walls art series, which aimed to celebrate the rise of female street art. Because it's convenient to report on news that's literally across the street from your office, fellow New Times editor Ciara
Goldman Properties, one of the largest landowners and developers in Wynwood (along with megadeveloper Moishe Mana), owns the
As Wynwood rapidly morphed into a tourism hot spot, City of Miami officials quickly tapped the vein of out-of-towner cash and began siphoning parking money into its coffers. As of 2014, nearly all the street parking in Wynwood was free — until the city instituted its (admittedly convenient) pay-by-phone parking system. Now the area is officially getting a full-on garage, bringing the neighborhood one step closer to its neighbors midtown, Design District, downtown, and South Beach.
And because this is Miami, land of outré parking garages, Wynwood's structure will at least be covered in
Miamians might complain about the incoming high-rise, but the garage is basically a necessity given the city's plans for Wynwood in the next decade. In July, the city approved construction plans for three multistory apartment towers — one, called Wynwood 25, will add 289 rental units a few blocks southeast, right next to Panther Coffee on NW Second Avenue.
Like it or not — and some don't — the Wynwood apartment boom is here. But nobody will move here if they can't park.
In the meantime, we'll be collecting donations to help someone paint an I Remember 'I Remember Paradise' mural.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.