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Our Life as a House

Our Life as a House

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Published by P_Crockett

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Published by: P_Crockett on Dec 28, 2010
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01/27/2011

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Or,
Our Life as a House:
 An Unlikely Dream Called
“the Mission” 
Takes Root.
 
Paul Hampton Crockett
With grateful acknowledgment to the University of Miami Digital Initiative, an amazing historicand visual resource. http://merrick.library.miami.edu/
MIAMI is my hometown, as it was my father's before me, and I aminterested in its history. Yet history is an extremely fleeting thing in thiscity, incorporated only in 1896. The dreamers, schemers, and buildersrelentlessly driving the city forward have been primarily obsessed with visions of "progress" and the shimmering horizon of the always-greatfuture, and rarely paused to look back even for a moment. Consequently,much of its rich, various, and abundant architectural heritage has beencarelessly discarded and often ground to dust.
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The demolition of this particular building proved a “flash point,” as the cutting-edgehistoric preservation effort was then well underway, and the owner apparently nervous.The movement suddenly burst into flame, and the die was cast. History seems to be judging the results kindly: as it turns out, honoring and protecting those old buildings wasvisionary wisdom, and an absolute triumph.
 
THE house we have come to call "the Mission" is old by Miami standards, built in 1927. The city was then only thirty years old. That time and place isnow long gone and nearly forgotten, even hard to imagine.
Mouth of Miami River, ca. 1906. Below, today.(Courtesy of Google maps.)
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