HistoryMiami planning much larger new museum

Written by Abraham Galvan on February 21, 2023
  • www.miamitodayepaper.com


HistoryMiami planning much larger new museum

As part of the county’s MetroCenter project plan, HistoryMiami Museum is currently engaged in the planning stages to create a world-class museum.

Miami-Dade County officials recently released a Request for Proposal (RFP) that seeks to pre-qualify developers for a MetroCenter project that would redesign about 17 acres of county-owned land that include the present museum into a MetroCenter community.

“HistoryMiami Museum is a part of this RFP and we are grateful that the county recognizes the museum as a critical cultural institution that will enrich the development,” said Michael Knoll, the museum’s vice president, strategic initiatives and senior curator. “We are looking forward to continuing to collaborate with the county on this work.”

When finished, the museum would grow 50% larger than its current location at 101 W Flagler St. The MetroCenter project is targeted to be a 24-hour community with housing, an intermodal transit terminal, educational buildings, parks and new cultural facilities. The whole proposed project could take up to 15 years.

“This phase of the MetroCenter process is focused on short-listing developers,” Mr. Knoll said. “Our possible location within this development and the timeline are to be determined.”

The Smithsonian Affiliate museum location is not predetermined but should be close to the main library to create a Cultural Arts Campus. The new museum is proposed to have classrooms with a 50-person capacity, reading rooms, an event space for up to 300 people with a kitchen, a space for collections and archives and exhibition preparation and fabrication, offices, employee support areas for staff of up to 50 people and additional storage.

Other specialized features sought for HistoryMiami include a dedicated climate-controlled space for collections, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building, and space dedicated to researchers to consult collections.

HistoryMiami was founded in 1962 as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida by the Historical Association of Southern Florida. In 1983, the museum moved from a site from near Vizcaya to its current location, where it now is spread over two buildings. In 2010, the arts institution was renamed HistoryMiami Museum during its 70th anniversary.

The museum is home to over 37,000, artifacts from prehistoric archaeological finds to 20th century Afro-Cuban folk art, has more than 1 million historical images, and is considered one of the most important in Florida.

The aim is to create a hub for civic engagement where everyone in the community feels welcome and represented, Mr. Knoll added, “which includes refining the museum’s vision for the future and continuing to evaluate space needs.”


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