Upon arrival at the Freedom Tower, one is greeted with symbols and artwork representative of the old world. A Spanish galleon rest at the very top of the building. The outside of the tower is heavily influenced by a cathedral in Seville. The Freedom Tower was built in 1925, and originally was owned by the newspaper company known as the Miami Daily News. The news company used this building as its office space for several years. After the newspaper moved to a new facility the Freedom Tower earned the name of the “Elis Island of the South.” For years, the tower became a place where Cuban refugees would go to and seek political asylum.
Once entering the building one notices the deep history that is encased in the walls of the tower. From pictures to children being sent to the United States by their families in Cuba to ancient ball games played by the Aztec. Our tour of the tower began by examining an artistic composition titled Entrance of Hernan Cortez into Mexico. This painting depicts the sharp differences between the natives and the Spanish. The natives are shown wearing minimal but colorful clothing, while the Spanish are covered from head to toe in silver amour. During our tour, we also observed a painting of the native Indians with Ponce de Leon. This painting portrays a very bias account for the interaction of the old world and the new world. The image strongly romanticizes the Spanish coming to America and paints their arrival as the growth of civilization rather than a destruction of culture and a society.
After our visit to the Freedom Tower, we made our way to the Historic Gesú Catholic Church. Coming from a predominantly catholic family it was extremely fascinating to witness the roots of the catholic religion in Miami. Back in the year 1567, a father named Juan Rogel came on a mission to spread the catholic religion. The actions of one man and his assistants, resulted in the catholic religion being heavily practiced in several regions of the Americas. The Freedom Tower and its neighboring historical buildings are places in Miami that are engulfed by history and culture. Without knowing, every historic artifact found in these buildings has affected our lives and the lives of those in the Americas one way or another.