Friday November 4, 2005

Lyric Theater renovation

The Biscayne Boulevard Times has a great article about the renovation of the Lyric Theater in Overtown.

From the 1930s to the 1960s, N.W. 2nd Avenue from 6th to 10th Street, the main strip of a vibrant and pioneering black community called Colored Town, was better known as “Little Broadway.” (…) Today, all that remains of Little Broadway are miscellaneous press clippings, billboards donated by Clyde Killens (the era’s entertainment king) and the Lyric Theater, which, according to material provided by The Black Archives, has been described as “the most beautiful and costly playhouse owned by Colored people in all the Southland.”

There is something very exiting about this. All the development to the north of downtown is going to spread to Overtown sooner or later. This project is funded by government money, so it’s not necessarily an early sign of the trend, but eventual gentrification is inevitable. The exact nature of that gentrification is still up for grabs, though, and this would be another opportunity for Miami to do something right. This project, by preserving the history of the community, is a step in the right direction.

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  1. Merkin    Fri Nov 4, 10:26 AM #  

    Always happy to see gentrification. Rising property values, employment opportunities, overall improvement in the quality of life. Miami is too valuable a place to allow so much of its footprint to deteriorate. Let’s hope the Lyric Theater is a harbinger of prosperity and success for the Overtown’s current and future residents.

  2. MisterE    Fri Nov 4, 10:57 AM #  

    That’s cool, Merkin. Who’s against progress, right? So Overtown’s current residents, largely low-income, can just pick up and move somewhere else to accommodate the future residents eager for the urban lifestyle, complete with condos, boutiques, high-end dining, private parking, nightclubs, and blah blah blah. Sure the poor are always with us: they just gotta be farther away. Sucks to be poor, but what’re ya gonna do, right?