Thursday June 30, 2005

Miami Circle

View of Biscayne Bay, Miami Circle in foreground

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.

Miami Cricle shrine, today 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.

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  1. Merkin    Thu Jun 30, 04:12 PM #  

    I think it’s a perfect spot for the new baseball stadium.

  2. Hugh Briss    Thu Jun 30, 04:19 PM #  

    No. Don’t be disrespectful. Pick up and move Freedom Tower to this spot. Then put the stadium where Freedom Tower used to be. And serve Marlin Cerviche during games. I love this blog.

  3. Camilo Santana    Fri Jul 1, 04:10 AM #  

    Funny that developers got busted on this one. Imagine how many historical sites have been uncovered in the past only to be backhoed and poured over.

    Is it really that hard to go ahead and dig it all up, categorize the artifacts, recreate the village and open it up as a museum?

    Oh ya, I forgot. We’re talking about your typical Philistine err, I mean American city.

    So pour a foundation on top of it and build a Starbucks next to another Starbucks adjacent to a Cheesecake Factory underneath a high-rise condominium.

    ... I forget, what US city I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter. Let make Miami-Dade County, FL another Orange County, CA.

  4. Sal & Sol    Fri Jul 1, 10:20 AM #  

    That’s the trouble with you goddam dirty hippies: you can’t wrap your stoner heads around anything like a compromise. It’s always black or white, night or day, good or bad. There are smart successful people working—there’s a concept: working—to make this beautiful part of the world we call south Florida a successful, accommodating destination where people can live, work, raise families, and achieve the American Dream, not sneer from the sidelines like hooting gibbons. That doesn’t mean over-building and plundering the environment, but it doesn’t mean leaving everything untouched, either. It if were up to you and your ass-scratching ilk you’d still be living in that prehistoric jerk-circle
    dancing hairy and naked in the moonlight. Just add lime and you’d be cerviche for mosquitoes.

  5. Editor    Fri Jul 1, 11:00 AM #  

    It’s CEVICHE…please take note.