Massive tower to define ‘new Miami’

If Miami is defined by its beaches, the humidity, and the widespread availability of cafe con leche, it is also unmistakable for its skyline. But that iconic silhouette is about to change.

In 2017, Skyrise Miami, a 1,000-foot skyscraper to be built next to Bayside Marketplace near downtown, is expected to be completed. The tower, intended as a tourist attraction, will feature panoramic observation decks, a nightclub, and thrill rides like a 50-story free fall experience.

It is destined, as its developer Jeff Berkowitz told The Huffington Post, to “forever change the skyline and become a symbol of the new Miami.”

But what exactly is the “new” Miami? For that matter, what is Miami currently?

Even if neither answer is clear, the contrast is obvious. With the sleek, futuristic curves of its hairpin shape, Skyrise Miami will look out of place in the city’s otherwise razor-edged profile. It certainly seems that this building has emerged from an upcoming era.

A city, however, cannot develop its own history by constructing buildings that look like they were sent from 100 years into the future. Does Miami really need to be known worldwide for its possession of a fancy, 1,000-foot-tall tourist gimmick?

Of course, New York wouldn’t be New York without a Statue of Liberty, nor would Paris be Paris without the Eiffel Tower, and even these landmarks were initially criticized for changing the cities’ impression. It may be that opposition to Skyrise Miami stems at least in part from an internal resistance to change.

Nevertheless, each major city has its own essence that may be impossible to describe in words, but which certainly exists; few will argue that being in New Orleans feels exactly like being in Philadelphia. That essence does not appear in an instant.

A city should come into its own gradually and organically. It should not be wrenched into a possible future with zero comprehension of its slowly developing identity.

Already approved by voters, Skyrise Miami will sprout in the skyline no matter how we feel about it now. But before “the new Miami” arrives, we should all take a moment to reflect on what Miami currently means to the people who call it home.

Find pictures of Skyrise Miami on themiamihurricane.com.


September 22, 2014


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

Around the Web

Claire Paris-Limouzy started freediving for research and ended up becoming a record-breaking athlete who is also spearheading a Scientific Freediving program at the University. ...

Sociology scholars from around the world convened for a virtual conference hosted by the University of Miami on Thursday to explore shifting tendencies in international relocation and the implications for global social change. ...

Lauryn Williams, track and field and bobsled medalist, addressed the University community during Wednesday night’s “What Matters to U” virtual event. ...

During his appearance Tuesday on a webinar hosted by the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School, tech mogul Eric Yuan highlighted the importance of a workplace culture of happiness and urged that businesses pay greater attention to the digital divide. ...

Early voting in Florida began this week and will last through Nov. 1. Here’s a rundown of everything students need to know about upcoming campus events, from the final debate watch party to transportation to the polls. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.