Designed in 1963 by recent Cuban immigrant Hilario Candela, the stadium was acclaimed for its passive principle design, which keeps visitors naturally cool in the hot Miami sun. The 6,566 seat stadium hosted power boat racing, big name concerts (Queen, Ray Charles and Elton John have all played there), as well as boxing matches, all in front of a backdrop of water and the not-to-distant downtown Miami skyline. After the hurricane rendered the building unusable in 1992, graffiti artists became attracted to the stadium’s design and location on the aquamarine waters as the perfect canvas for colorful murals and tags.
Thanks to these artists, the abandoned stadium has continued to stay relevant in the public spotlight. Inspired by their efforts, the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium created a $40 million restoration plan that includes reviving the stadium, implementing a new waterfront green park from the now desolate parking lot, as well as exhibition space, a maritime museum, restaurants and retail shops. Currently in the fundraising phase, the project has gained the support of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the World Monuments Fund.
Since artists are responsible for bringing attention back to the stadium, a mural program curated by Logan Hicks will also invite 20 world class street artists to legally paint at the legendary venue in 2014. The site specific murals created will also be the subject of a print series, with proceeds that will benefit Friends of Miami Marine Stadium.
Photos ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat