Architecture
7:15 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Historic? Atrocious? Herald's Home Is Divisive

The Miami Herald's  headquarters on Biscayne Bay has been sold to a developer who wants to tear it down. Historic preservationists are working to stop the demolition, saying the hulking, boxy building is a prime example of Miami Modern architecture from the 50's and 60's. NPR interviewed demolition proponents — including  some prominent architects — who say it's a clumsy building with no sense of style and not a "MiMo" design worth saving:

Like A K-Mart? The Miami Herald's 1960s headquarters has staunch admirers and fierce critics.
Like A K-Mart? The Miami Herald's 1960s headquarters has staunch admirers and fierce critics.

Since it was completed in 1963 on a prime piece of land overlooking Biscayne Bay, the structure has dominated the north end of the city's waterfront. It's a large rectangular structure, with the emphasis on large. Seven stories high, it covers an entire city block with space for offices, a printing plant, and room on the roof for six helicopters to land simultaneously.

Today, most of it is wasted space; an unpleasant reminder of the decline of the newspaper business and the downsizing of the Herald staff. The building has been sold and the new owner, a Malaysian developer, wants to tear it down.

But others find much to love in the newspaper's headquarters -- as long as the observer takes the time to look carefully. The building's new owner is the Malaysian gambling conglomerate, Genting, whose interests may ultimately decide the fate of the Herald building