Downtown Miami as Text

A&V 2016 at PAMM (Photo: JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)
A&V 2016 at PAMM (Photo: JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)

DOWNTOWN MIAMI
From Encyclopedia Britanica(<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/379665/Miami>):
Miami, city, transportation and business hub of southeastern Florida, U.S., and seat (1844) of Miami-Dade county. It is a leading resort and Atlantic Ocean port situated on Biscayne Bay at the mouth of the Miami River.

Spaniards in the 16th century found a village (perhaps 2,000 years old) of Tequesta Indians on the site. The name Mayaimi, probably meaning “big water” or “sweet water,” may have referred to Lake Okeechobee or to local Native Americans who took their name from the lake. In 1567 the Spanish established a mission there as part of a futile attempt to subdue the Tequesta. They ceded the area to Great Britain in 1763, but regained it in 1783. After the United States acquired Florida from Spain (1821), Fort Dallas was built (1836) as a base during the Seminole Wars. A few settlers—among them Julia D. Tuttle, known as the “mother of Miami,” and William B. Brickell—gradually moved into the area.

In 1896 Henry M. Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railway to the site after Tuttle and Brickell each gave him half of their landholdings for the project. Flagler had been convinced to extend the railroad after a freeze during the winter of 1894–95 killed most of Florida’s citrus crop; Tuttle reportedly sent him a fresh orange blossom to prove that the freeze had not reached Miami. Flagler dredged the harbour, started constructing the Royal Palm Hotel, and promoted tourism. Miami was incorporated the same year.

The downtown skyline of Miami now features a contemporary look, with a large collection of gleaming, glass-walled skyscrapers accented with neon lighting at night.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
This project will offer students a uniquely structured exploration of Downtown Miami. Miami as Text is an interdisciplinary investigation of the people, art, architecture, culture and surrounding area of the heart of Miami. While providing certain required guidelines, the project is structured in an open manner that enables student participants to emphasize their respective disciplinary interests. It is the students’ mission to investigate, discover and document Miami.

STRUCTURE
Students will form groups of  4 or 5 students.  Each group will be assigned one downtown location.  During the course of one day, the student group must explore the people, culture, and natural environment of their respective location/institution.

All students must wear an FIU shirt. We want to be clearly identifiable as a university group.

DESTINATIONS
All groups are to meet in the plaza of the Miami-Dade Public Library System Main Library, 101 W FLAGLER ST. All groups are to meet in Bayside.

Group 1: Start at intersection of NW 1ST AVE & NW 2ND ST walk east to Bayfront Park.
Group 2: Start at intersection of NW 1ST AVE & NW 1ST ST walk east on north side of NW 1ST ST to Bayfront Park.
Group 3: Start at intersection of NW 1ST AVE & NW 1ST ST walk east on south side of NW 1ST ST to Bayfront Park.
Group 4: Start at intersection of NW 1ST AVE & FLAGLER ST walk east on north side of FLAGLER ST to Bayfront Park.
Group 5: Start at intersection of NW 1ST AVE & FLAGLER ST walk east on south side of FLAGLER ST to Bayfront Park.
Group 6: Start at intersection of NW 1ST AVE & SW 1ST ST walk east to Bayfront Park.
Group 7: Perez Art Museum Miami. Take Metromover from Government Center to Museum Park Stop. Explore the inside and outside of the Perez Art Museum Miami.
Group 8: Bayside. Take Metromover from Government Center to Bayside. Explore space and shops of Bayside.
Group 9: HistoryMiami. Explore this location. Then take Metromover from Government Center to Bayside.
Group 10: Miami Dade Public Library Main Branch. Explore this location. Then take Metromover from Government Center to Bayside.

QUESTIONS
The following are suggested questions participants may ask.  The inquiry should include, but not be limited, to these.  Research should focus only on the participants’ respective location. Participants should particularly reflect on the relationship between historic and cultural parallels and contrasts.

  • What did you know about Downtown Miami before participating in Art as Miami?
  • What do you perceive to be the demographics of Downtown Miami visitors? Who is there and why? For How long?
  • Describe the architecture and the influence it has on people.
  • Describe the public art and the influence it has on people.
  • What is the general ambiance in the location?
  • Why do people visit these locations? Are the visitors local or do they come from other cities?
  • Do you feel safe walking through Downtown Miami? Would you feel safe walking through Downtown Miami at other times?
  • What is your experience?
  • Any other thoughts of impressions you have.

PROJECT FORMAT & SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
How to do a Miami as Text.

AUTHOR(S) AND LAST UPDATE
John William Bailly 01 MAY 2017
COPYRIGHT © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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