Childhood Memories And A Hialeah Landmark

Jun 4, 2012

Producer and Miami Herald multimedia journalist Michael Alen has long been fascinated with a strange building in the middle of Hialeah. Alen remembers seeing the building as a toddler on his drives home from Kendall with his parents. He remembers being awestruck, each and every time, by its rounded shape and how it contrasted with the sharp edges of its neighboring structures.

As an adult, Alen found himself at the doorstep of the structure again, this time joining a friend–Tanya Diaz–who considers herself an urban explorer.  Urban explorers investigate the normally unseen or off-limits parts of urban areas or industrial facilities.

The building made such an impression on Alen that he ended up going as far as to track down the architect who designed the building. The Hialeah building, Alen learned, is named the AmerTec.  The unsung architect who designed it is Chayo Frank.

This past spring, when The American Institute of Architects asked Floridians to vote on their favorite buildings.

The list included the Mar-a-Lago National Historic Landmark in Palm Beach and the Bacardi Building in Miami. The number one building on the list was the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

The Amertec Building wasn’t on the list, but for Michael Alen it could well have been number one.

The songs  in this piece were “Top of Zurich” by Cayos, and “More Music” by Elastic Bond.