After a 41-year hiatus, the federal government is moving back into the Freedom Tower. At least on a part-time basis.
The U.S. Department of State has reached an agreement with Miami Dade College, current owner of the iconic building in downtown Miami, to use portions of the tower as its Americas media hub. The State Department won't be setting up full-time in the building. Instead, it will use it periodically conduct interviews, meetings, and as a home base for U.S. diplomats engaging with Spanish-language media.
"Hosting discussions in this historic and symbolic facility will reinforce America's commitment to freedom and democracy," reads a statement from MDC. "Often referred to as the Ellis Island of the South, the Freedom Tower serves as a reminder of the values this country embodies. No other building in the region represents the country and its collective sense of hope for the future like the Tower."
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Originally the home of departed newspaper the Miami News, the Freedom Tower was used in the '60s and '70s by the federal government to process and provide services to newly arrived Cubans who had fled the Castro regime. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979 and has since been through a string of private owners.
Developers Terra Group bought the building back in 2004 and proposed packing the surrounding property with other buildings. Public backlash ultimately led to the group to donate it to MDC instead. Today, the building houses a museum, along with events and exhibitions.