“Paul’s Safari into Miami’s History” Oct. 5, 2016 (Hurricane Matthew “Out There.”)
(Image: “Miami Daily News Building,” 1925, Florida Memory.)
FROM time to time, when we may find ourselves a little apprehensive, as for example when we’re trying to figure out exactly what a “cone of uncertainty” may be, and if we might actually be in one,
we can take comfort in one another, knowing that there is nothing we can’t freak out, or lose our sh*t over completely, together,
and call to mind landmarks of long standing, beloved of the People, that have remained standing proudly after even the most bad-ass hurricanes. Such as, for example, this one.
“Look: if I can do it, then so can you,” it promises without words. “And you will.”
“No matter what.”
(My shrink tells me it’s no good business to be carrying on conversations with buildings, old landmarks or no, but his ass is officially fired! I’ve never heard more useless advice!)______
The proud beauty was built in 1925 by newly relocated Ohioan James M. Cox, to house the newspaper he would be starting here, to add to his chain. The newspaper soon outgrew the elegant building, and it became abandoned for that purpose long ago.
Years after that, hordes of Cuban exiles left the island en masse following Castro’s rise to power, and found themselves strangers in a strange land. Thousands of the new arrivals were processed there for immigration purposes, etc., and became quite attached to the elegant tower as a personal symbol of their life journeys, the Grace of safe haven, and America’s promise. The building became popularly known as “the Freedom Tower.”
Today I call it “The Miami Daily News Building/ Freedom Tower,” taking a stab at the impartiality called for by one who would study and understand the history of a complex area. As mentioned, it’s most generally referred to as the “Freedom Tower,” for short.
By whatever name it’s known, it is well loved by an entire community. And that seems the true treasure.