THOUGH we may still be in recovery from our last dizzying encounter with the “futuristic” vision of the Magic City published in the Miami Daily Metropolis newspaper of Nov. 2, 1912, Redland edition, we must nevertheless steel ourselves to proceed yet further upon that mind-blowing and wildly improbable path known as “history.” Time is on the wing, after all, as is this eagle clutching in its talons a box camera! And, as so profoundly observed by singer/ songwriter Steve Miller, “Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future.” (Sounds better when he sings it.)
Here is yet another extraordinary window of the imagination opened up to the Miamians of 1912, to intrigue, excite, amaze, and sell newspapers. It tells me, among other things, that the city’s unparalleled land boom of the 1920’s was less a spontaneous phenomenon, simply “flashing” into being almost overnight as it so convincingly appeared, than a harvest reaped from seeds planted some years before, quite consciously and intentionally.
This document, as well as any other I’ve ever seen, may be understood as a suitably fantastical blueprint for the “Magic City” to come. It is a dreamy window to a larger and impossibly audacious dream.
I hope that you may enjoy it, looking back, as much as I’d imagine did our forebears of 1912, their gaze fixed breathlessly forward, and stirred deep inside by a sense of profound hope.