Image: Flagler First
The vicinity around the intersection of Flagler Street and N.E. 1st street and 1st Ave has good examples of vintage or restored urbanism.
Images: Flagler First
- The first example, Flagler First, is the most notable and expansive in the area. It involves the restoration for the historic First National Bank. It is being developed by Sergio Rok. The project is striking in that it looks like a more traditional representation of urbanism with brick walls and intricately etched columns. It lends a sense of dynamism to Miami’s mostly new construction-oriented skyline.
Images: Capital Lofts at the Security Building
- The Capital Lofts (Do not mistake it for Capital on Brickell) at the historic Security Building, being restored by the Arbel Group, is the second example of vintage urbanism in the area. A short walk from Flagler First, Capital Lofts, again is a more traditional representation of urbanism. Unlike Flagler First, which lacks a standout crown, Capital’s crown will rise as an architectural beacon in the neighborhood. Its restoration is the most conspicuous advancement of the site’s renovation. Capital is more slender and tall than Flagler First and is not situated on a corner, so it’s not as noticeable and the city views aren’t as desirable.
Images: 1st and 1st Jewelry Center
- Across from Capital Lofts is a unique retail development that has not amounted to anything but is still a fine example of restored urbanism. It is the Jewelry Center at 1st and 1st. Here again, when looking at the building, one gets a sense of being somewhere else. The facades etched concrete, archways, high entrances, and decorative balconies gives it that storied look. It’s not clear what will happen with the site. Currently, some of the exterior areas are popular as bathrooms and bedroom for the homeless.
Image: Carrion Building
- Across the intersection, lays the last example of a restoration that has lent character to area, the Carrion building. It was restored by Carrion Mfg., a local successful jewelry manufacturing business, and it is now their main office. It also has retail at the ground level with an unrelated jewelry store and a pizzeria.
The Financial District has several historic structures (Congress building, Ingraham building, Dade Commonwealth building, and Dupont Building, to name a few) that could use a revamp. Not all of them would be good to harbor residential, but some could be for office condos, or mixed use. The core cannot continue to progress with the area’s oldest structures remaining in a derelict state. Dynamism in new construction design is great but there is something special about having past architectural styles intermingle with new ones. Just as the restoration of Art Deco in Miami Beach helped propel economic development, the same can be done in Flagler Street to boost retail activity with restorations, for example, at the Macy’s and Lerner buildings.