Thursday June 30, 2005
Ladies and gentlemen, it has been seven long years since Miami Circle was uncovered. Coinciding with the original boom of the internet, the controversy around the site was something old experienced in a new way. Everybody got to freak out when a reputable archeologist dared to point out that there was a possibility that the site was a septic tank. The BBC made a documentary.
And then . . . nothing. Here we are, years later, and the site is just as it was then. What has Miami Circle done for us lately? Granted, it is a nice green patch of primo turf that the developers can’t touch; something tasty about that. But it sits there, behind two layers of chain-link, very very innanimate. Apparently there is no way to open it to the public — we would destroy the treasure.
Well, ok, one nice thing happened — the Circle’s influence is spreading. In addition to making its own site undevelopable, it is now effecting development on adjacent sites:
Circle acolytes are . . . pressing its developer, the Related Group of Florida, to make design changes to lessen the project’s impact on the 2,000-year-old circle, including moving a proposed 50-story waterfront tower that would loom over the site and partially block views of Biscayne Bay. Archaeologists believe the water views were important to the site’s builders, the extinct Tequesta Indians.
For now, the developers are at least paying lip service to said “acolytes,” but the real issue is the ultimate fate of the Circle. There are vague plans to open the site to the public, but if it hasn’t happened in all this time, when will it happen? We’re voting for never. For Bicentennial Park to sit useless and empty for decades was a tragedy; it’s a huge site with huge potential. Here’s a little site, with serious historical import. Maybe it deserves to sit in limbo, a monument to bureaucracy’s inability to confront its own past injustices.comments powered by Disqus