Architects sought to rescue Miami's iconic powerboat racing stadium

by Kim Megson | 22 Feb 2016

A petition has been launched to restore Miami’s famous Marine Stadium to its former glory.

The 6,566-seat arena – the first US stadium built for the purpose of watching powerboat races – has stood empty for 20 years and has fallen into a state of disrepair.

The stadium, designed by Cuban-born architect Hilario Candela in 1963, is known for its landmark civic architecture. The structure features a 326ft (99.3m) long, fold-plate roof which was once the longest span of cantilevered concrete in the world.

In its heyday, the site was used as a set for the Elvis Presley film Clambake, hosted rock concerts by the likes of Ray Charles and the Beach Boys on its floating stage, and was regularly used for rallies and religious services.

Now the the US National Trust for Historic Preservation and Dade Heritage Trust are appealing to the City of Miami to prioritise the restoration of the stadium as “a flourishing entertainment venue”.

Over US$20m (€18m, £14.1m), has been spent already to improve the land around the structure and earlier this month hundreds of thousands of spectators visited the area to watch the 2016 Miami International Boat from newly-created viewing pavilions.

Heritage campaigners used the event to highlight the plight of the Miami Marine Stadium and launch the petition. To promote the restoration bid, visual performance artists illuminated the structure using projections of vintage stadium footage to highlight its history.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation said in a statement it is hopeful work on the stadium can begin later in 2016. The City of Miami has already issued a request for qualifications from architectural and engineering practices and a nomination has been submitted to place the building on the US’ National Register of Historic Places.

This would qualify the stadium for federal tax credits, reducing the restoration costs by as much as US$6m (€5.4m, £4.2m).

Miami Marine Stadium  Miami  petition  powerboat racing  Florida  architecture  design  Hilario Candela  
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A petition has been launched to restore Miami’s famous Marine Stadium to its former glory. The 6,566-seat arena – the first US stadium built for the purpose of watching powerboat races – has stood empty for 20 years and has fallen into a state of disrepair. The stadium, designed by Cuban-born architect Hilario Candela in 1963, is known for its landmark civic architecture. The structure features a 326ft (99.3m) long,
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The 6,566-seat arena was the first US stadium built for the purpose of watching powerboat races / Rick Bravo
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