Thursday August 10, 2006


The atlantis has a big hole cut out of it with a red spiral staircase.

Jonathan does the Atlantis. The Atlantis defined Miami architecture in the 1980s: sleek, absurd, and best appreciated while zipping by at 60 miles per hour on I-95. Heck, it’s right there in the Miami Vice opening credits.

A peculiar thing happened along the way. In the 90s, they built up a wall between the Northbound and Southbound sides of I-95, so you can’t see it when you’re going South. The only way to get a good look is to crane your neck almost completely around while going Northbound. Unless you know it’s there, you’ll miss it; in fact, for awhile I assumed it had been torn down; was just aware of not having seen it in a long time. But there it is, still looking much bigger then its 20 floors. The bummer of it is that it would have made a great home for the Miami Children’s Museum. Instead, the Atlantis fades from our consciousness, replaced, I suppose, by Espiritu.

Atlantis on Wikipedia, and here’s another picture.


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  1. Miami Transit Man    Thu Aug 10, 09:53 AM #  

    I won’t knock Atlantis because it really was revolutionary when it was first built and designed by Arquitectonica, Miami’s premier Architecture Company. I wish it has had a more prominent location in our skyline and was built as an urban building rather than the suburban design those buildings on the Southern Part of Brickell Ave have created.

    Espritu is out of this world. Definitely a building you wouldn’t expect to find in Miami. Unfortunately, it generally receives little attention among skyscraper enthusiasts. One Broadway, another glass office building rising near it should compliment it and the Four Seasons very well. The view of the Parabola from the west will be covered up soon as the mammoth Infinity 1 & 2 will rise 2 blocks west. Espritu is one of the few buildings anyone can get to enjoy the view from. on the 25th floor, the Conrad’s sky lobby there is a great restaurant (Atrio) and a bar (Noir) with beautiful views of Miami and the Bay…

  2. Blingtown    Thu Aug 10, 03:51 PM #  

    I agree that this building is great from the highway and is bad in that it creates a suburban condition in the middle of the city. Hopefully the meager ground-floor retail requirements in all of the new condos will make them behave like real urban places.

    A note on the Atlantis:
    The best view of the Atlantis is from Brickell. On the same stretch are two other condos contemporary with the Atlantis that are equally great and bold.

    The Palace

    The Imperial

  3. gansibele    Thu Aug 10, 05:39 PM #  

    There’s a very nice view from the overpass where US-1 becomes I-95 right after Viscaya. Or from the Rickenbacker causeway coming back from Key Biscayne.

  4. circuitmouse    Thu Aug 10, 06:50 PM #  

    Few drives so define the best part of being in Miami as the drive down Brickell past the Atlantis … so many newer buildings lack the sense of imagination and optimism for the future that that building holds.

    Few views represent how out of reach the wealth and promise of Miami holds for most, as looking at the skyline from the end of the old causeway most tourists never notice where the locals fish.

  5. Lissette    Fri Aug 11, 11:53 AM #  

    I absolutely love the Espiritu building! It’s inspiring, especially standing underneath it and looking up at the parabola. I really need to grab a picture of that one day, without having security hassling me for looking up at the building. Yes, this really happened to me one day.

  6. circuitmouse    Sat Aug 12, 04:20 PM #  

    That happened to me, too! Before I could say something sarcastic that would probably flown over the guard’s head, I remembered that under his dapper suit he was armed. And serious. Like my taking a photo of a palm tree was somehow going to extract corporate secrets from within the building. Of course, that was back before we had fanatics flying planes into buildings…

    It’s silly how many developers think that THEY are so important, iconic and well known that THEIR building would be a target for terrorists. It’s the new pissing contest yardrule, I guess.

  7. alesh    Sun Aug 13, 12:40 PM #  

    Let’s be clear about this: if you’re on public property (ie the sidewalk), you have the right to photograph anything you want, with the exception of something like a millitary facility.

    I’m heading down there with my camera to make a point.

  8. Rick    Sun Aug 13, 01:36 PM #  

    Who’s got Alesh’s bail money?

  9. Jonathan    Sun Aug 13, 09:27 PM #  

    What Alesh said.

  10. Miami Transit Man    Sun Aug 13, 11:46 PM #  

    I do it all the time and nobody has ever said anything to me, at that building. However, at one Miami a security once told me the riverwalk was private property and that he was going to call the Police if I didn’t leave. I replied it wasn’t and to have fun explaining to the cop why he had called them out there in the first place…

    It also happened to me by the new federal courthouse in downtown. There a security guard with a heavy accent yelled at me and my little cousin to stop photographing the courthouse because it was “illegal.” This particular incident infuriated me because he chose to yell at my cousin rather than me and almost tried to grab his camera out of his 11 year old hands. I would have none of that so I immediately set the fellow straight, told him to direct his temper elsewhere and we crossed the street to the MDCC campus where we proceeded in taking several photographs of the building and irate guard… I guess these courthouse guards have no clue that with google earth I can get a satelite image of the whole complex…

    These rent-a-cops have huge power trip issues, I say to ignore them for the most part as long as you know that what you are doing is legal…

  11. circuitmouse    Thu Aug 17, 07:03 PM #  

    He with the (biggest) gun trumps all.