Currently viewing the category: "Biscayne Boulevard"
At the forefront of Miami’s residential development boom, stand the designs of the local, ambitious architect Chad Oppenheim. The young Cornell Graduate, only 34, has made a splash in the architecture scene with his innovative modern designs and latest plans for energy efficient buildings. The soon to be completed Ten Museum Park is his first major contribution to the Miami skyline. Of all the buildings rising along the “Miami wall” (Biscayne Boulevard Condos,) Ten Museum Park will have the greatest effect on the skyline despite being the shortest of the five towers rising. I found the following pictures on an online forum I frequently visit, they were originally posted by Edrag Tnava and provide us with some exclusive first looks at the inside of one of our most innovative condominium towers thus far:

Bathroom:

View of Biscayne Boulevard beautification project:

Interesting Windows minimize the impact of the neighboring towers currently rising:

The Loft:

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The above photograph came from the airplane mounted camera of local photographer James Good. Although certainly not one of his most creative pictures, this picture gives us an excellent aerial view of the realignment of Biscayne Boulevard along Bicentennial (Museum) Park. The beautiful design in the median with new wider sidewalks on either side, will allow the new residents of the condos emerging behind to easily access the Carnival Center and all destinations along the Boulevard easily by foot. The initial conceptual drawings included images of sidewalk cafes, tree canopies, and streetcars running along the new more pedestrian friendly corridor. Of particular interest is the small building in the bottom center; a water treatment pumping facility which emits a foul odor and isn’t planned to move elsewhere anytime soon…

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Some of you may have read about the recent debacle caused by the FDOT and Biscayne Boulevard preservationists over the removal of nearly all of the Royal Palms along the streetscape. Here’s the abridged version of the recent events:
  • FDOT planned to remove most of the palms on Biscayne Boulevard to replace them with shade trees such as Oaks, in order to enhance the pedestrian experience along the boulevard and to improve “safety” along the corridor in a new ROW acquisition.
  • The FDOT plan was met by stiff activist resistance, opposing the removal of any trees and opposing the plans by the FDOT.
  • To date, 135 palms have been removed, approximately 2/3 of the palms along the corridor which were planted over 80 years ago to commemorate the Veterans of all Wars.
  • Trees continued to fall, as recently as February 6.
  • On February 7th, the FDOT agreed to stop further destruction of the Royal palms, claiming that the trees removed the day before were either sick or part of the ROW acquisition.
  • Today, after the lobbying of Commissioner Sarnoff and Mary Conway, the FDOT has finally agreed to end the destruction. The Biscayne Boulevard corridor will now feature much more foliage than had been previously planned, including more Royal Palms and various other shade trees.

It’s difficult to swallow the “pedestrian enhancement” bull the FDOT is throwing at us when the trees are being removed to further enhance the traffic flow along the corridor. As the herald article noted, Miami’s tree canopy is an abysmal 10% (compared to 30-40% in other denser, pedestrian-minded cities) and yet, the solution to improve our tree canopy dysfunction involved the removal of existing trees. I guess we’re trying to maintain it at 10%, rather than improve upon it.

The bigger picture I’d like to point out is while one local agency works to make our streets more pedestrian friendly, our city commission is out approving a monstrous structure with 1,700 parking spaces in the immediate area. Note above: the pedestrian friendly streets of yesteryear featured not only pedestrian friendly foliage but streetcars as well. The approval of 2222 Biscayne is a dark reminder of how far we still have to go to improve the urban culture of our city. Any structure on an existing or planned public transit route should feature far less parking than the city code currently calls for and certainly far less than the 1 space/250 square feet offered by this eyesore…

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  • The people have spoken and I have listened. ManolaBBB has come to me with the interesting idea of expanding the Transit Challenge past the summer to include our cooler months. Apparently she’s been speaking to others who supported the idea and stated that they would be more inclined to ride when the temperatures were bearable. I agree. It’s a wonderful idea and I hope it will encourage more Miami Natives to eventually give public transportation a legitimate try. Keep the ideas flowing…
  • I came across an interesting site with some interesting ideas and graphics for possible projects in Miami as well as a blog. Some of the ideas have some logic to them, while others appear to be nothing more than outright hilarious fantasies. Enjoy…
  • Above is one of the latest photos by James Good. He regularly flies his model aircraft over Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami to photograph the city’s construction progress. Here his plane is flying higher than the 500+ foot Ten Museum Park Condominium and provides an unusual view of how the wall of condominiums on Biscayne Boulevard is shaping up. Oh by the way, the building with white balls is the Miami NAP of the Americas, one of the most technologically advanced buildings in the world for ISP technology and logistics. I believe it is owned and operated by Terremark… Many people seem to ask me that…

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Miami was the scene of Snicker’s newest citywide ad campaign yesterday because nobody was going anywhere, for awhile (pardon the pun, it was just too easy.) In any case, the closing of Biscayne Boulevard for the past day has provided a great insight as to how fragile Miami’s Transportation infrastructure really is. Downtown streets were clogged as the flow of people and goods came to a virtual standstill. The best part, there is no solution in sight and the problem is only bound to get worse. As the city grows and hopes to create a more urban lifestyle, little is being done to address transportation in downtown. Sure buses are being added daily, but this is Miami, people here have yet to warm up to an $800 Million Train dubbed “the White Elephant.” Also notice that every new building is rising upon some sort of hideous parking garage pedestal, so with every new downtown resident comes another vehicle and another headache for transportation planners. We are being counter-productive by not changing parking requirements for buildings that are already accessible by Metrorail and Metro Mover in downtown. Downtown residents should warm up to the idea of walking a few blocks to buy groceries, catch Metro Mover or the upcoming Streetcar, or to get to work. A recent Herald article cites a lack of parking at the Miami Performing Arts Center, but hey, wasn’t that the point of building it downtown; to establish an urban center to our city where we don’t need to rely on our automobiles to get everywhere. Ex: American Airlines Arena, the majority of the fans who take Metrorail to and from the game have a much shorter (and cheaper) commute than the many that paid $25 for a parking spot across the street. Even Lincoln Center in NYC was built with only a few “designated” and handicapped parking spaces, albeit NYC has a very modern transit network, but the Center was built in the 1960s at the height of the suburbanization of American Culture.

Traffic like today’s makes us wish we had never removed the Trolley cars which roamed the streets of Miami and Miami Beach in the 1930′s and 1940′s (see picture above.)

Food for thought:
The Typical highway can handle approximately 2,300 cars/lane/hour vs. a heavy rail train which can handle approximately 75,000 people/lane/hour…

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