Flashback Friday
5:50 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

9 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Old Miami Herald Building

The old Miami Herald building started being demolished April 28.
The old Miami Herald building started being demolished April 28.
Credit Walter Michot / Miami Herald

It's been roughly one year since WLRN-Miami Herald News staff left One Herald Plaza, the former Miami Herald building. 1HP will soon be demolished completely, but the building will always be rife with touching (and bizarre) memories. 

This #FlashbackFriday, WLRN and Miami Herald reporters, editors and human resources staff take us back to their memories of 1HP, with nine things you probably didn't know about the iconic building.    

*Editor's note: The eighth memory in this post contains a graphic, uncensored image.

1. There was a breathtaking view from the conference rooms.

Credit Kenny Malone

One Herald Plaza stands between the MacArthur Causeway and the Venetian Causeway -- a location which allows for truly remarkable views. Several WLRN-Miami Herald News staff members recall the serene scene in the conference room window.

"Some days there were dolphins," says Alicia Zuckerman, WLRN's editorial director. "We'd all jump out of our seats, no matter what we were discussing, and run to the window to watch in awe as they frolicked in the bay."

2. The equally breathtaking view from the restrooms.

Laura Coburn, WLRN awards coordinator, is among a significant number of staffers who remembered the view from the restroom as being a jaw-dropping sight.

But perhaps that view was just in the ladies room, because Miami Herald transportation writer Glenn Garvin -- who used the men's restrooms on the fifth and sixth floors -- says: "I don't know what the hell they're talking about."

3. The breast-pump machine

Credit Elaine Chen

Elaine Chen, senior producer for WLRN, remembers the industrial-grade breast-pump machine in the women's lounge. "[It] must have been from the '70s or something," she says.

The question as to why there was a breast-pump machine at 1HP in the first place remains a mystery. Perhaps this is a topic for What's the Story, our investigative blog about South Florida curiosities.

4. The vicinity to local bars

Credit Flickr/Steve Parker

Glenn Garvin also says he misses the local bars around 1HP. 

"Right across the street was a very retro bar and grill called Mike's, where the drinks and steaks were pretty cheap," he says. "It was open till anyone was ready to quit drinking. It was a great place to go when you’d just finished a big story.”

Garvin calls the lack of a watering hole in Doral, where the current Miami Herald building stands, "one of the casualties of moving to a new location." 

There's actually an Ale House close to the new Miami Herald building, but the weekly outings to Mike's Garvin and fellow reporters went on seem to be a tradition that disappeared along with the evacuation of 1HP.

5.  There were rats. (Or were there?)

Credit Flickr/ Jean-Jacques Boujot

There is some debate as to whether rats existed in 1HP, but Chris DiMattei, WLRN anchor, sarcastically recalls the rodents being her "fondest memory."

7. The materials used to build it

One Herald Plaza when it was under construction in 1960, shot from the west.
One Herald Plaza when it was under construction in 1960, shot from the west.
Credit Ibby Vores / Courtesy

1HP boasted mahogany paneling, two kinds of granite (gray on the facade, red-veined on certain interior walls) chattahoochee rock and yellow ceramic tiles, according to Ibby Vores, Miami Herald human resources manager.

“It was impressive… there was all of this lifted space and a terrazzo floor, marble on the walls,” she says. “At the time it was built, it was an icon of the future.”

8. The more morbid matters

Credit Roman Lyskowski / Miami Herald

1HP was filled with jovial, quirky musings, but there were also some stinging memories. Herald photo editor Roman Lyskowski's strongest recollection involves the suicide of Art Teele, a former county commissioner,  in the 1HP lobby. He witnessed the immediate aftermath of the event himself, as he captured images of Teele's lifeless body on his point-and-shoot camera in 2005.

"The shock of it was that the type of news that we might report on day-in and day-out occurred right in our own house," says Lyskowski. "That was the shock effect."

Lyskowski says he feels the Herald might have lost a "certain innocence" that day. 

"The very physical change was that the lobby used to be a very welcoming place," says Lyskowski. "After it happened, we had to close off the main part of the entrance and create a pedestrian walkway that went through metal detectors. That kind of imposition kind of creates a barrier between us and the public."

Howard Cohen, who has been with the Miami Herald since 1991, shares this image of his 6-year-old self which was published in the old Tropical Life section of the Herald in 1970.
Howard Cohen, who has been with the Miami Herald since 1991, shares this image of his 6-year-old self which was published in the old Tropical Life section of the Herald in 1970.
Credit Howard Cohen

9. The library archives

Howard Cohen, features writer, nostalgically remembers flipping through hundreds and hundreds of Herald clippings in the fifth floor library at 1HP. He said looking through old stories validated his memory of events, while the musty scent of the newspaper clippings took him to a previous era.  

"It takes you to another place," he says. "You can't get that smell anywhere else." 

Have a memory you’d like to share? Tweet us @WLRN with your #ThrowbackThursday memory.