Opinion

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

Reporters

Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.