Bill would send $ 25 million to restore Freedom Tower

Written by Miami Today on December 7, 2021


Bill would send $ 25 million to restore Freedom Tower

Following a proposal from Governor Ron DeSantis, Representative Bryan Avila of Miami Springs, requested $ 25 million in the next state budget to restore the Freedom Tower at 600 Biscayne Blvd., an iconic building by renowned architects who opened at the Miami Daily News in 1925.

Lawmakers are due to consider the budget request in the legislative session that begins in January.

“This funding will be used to correct critical life safety issues, improve several building systems and equipment, ensure compliance with building codes and the United States Disability Act, and improve water supply infrastructure and sewer “, indicates the request.

Governor DeSantis visited the tower on November 15 to begin restoration work on the building, which was used to house Cuban refugees and is now an art museum and offices for Miami Dade College.

“You had people who fled the Communist (Cuban) revolution, from the late 1950s hundreds of thousands of people came over here, the Freedom Tower in Miami, so they could have a chance to freedom, ”Governor DeSantis said. “This is something that we have to make sure we commemorate and make sure we carry on the legacy of all those who have sought a better life here.”

The 17-story tower reminiscent of Seville, Spain, although designed by New York-based Schultze and Weaver, has gone through several phases. After the Miami News moved in 1957 to a new production facility on the Miami River, the building remained empty until the federal government took over the first four floors to process Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974.

After that, the building remained abandoned, occupied by homeless people and pigeons and stripped of everything. It was then restored in part by an investor who in 2005 sold it to another owner, the developer Pedro Martin. He donated it to the college, which carried out work on the building. It is now a national historic monument.

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