Summer 2007 – Naming rights: Brickell Avenue gets historic designation; brand, history preserved

Governor Charlie Crist signed legislation June 14, 2007, declaring Brickell Avenue a state historic road and prohibiting the Brickell Avenue name to be extended beyond its Miami River north boundary. This act will forever quash the efforts of the developers of Met 2 office tower just north of the river who were looking to cash in on the cachet of the Brickell Avenue name by extending it up Southeast Second Avenue.

The victory was led by the business leaders of Brickell Area Association who have been battling the brand dilution, not to mention historical inaccuracy, such a name extension would create. Brickell Homeowners Association and Dade Heritage Trust also took stands against the name extension.

The BAA was well prepared for the 2007 Florida Legislative session after narrowly seeing the close of the 2006 session without last-minute legislation slipped in to extend the Brickell name, aided by the strong lobbying efforts of the developers.

The legislation also symbolizes a victory for historical preservation and accuracy. Miami Historian Arva Parks McCabe explains that it would not have made sense for the area north of the river to be called “Brickell” as that was Julia Tuttle’s territory. The river was always the geographic dividing line among these two leaders in Miami’s founding in 1896.

The state historic designation of the roadway recognizes that Brickell Avenue, stretching from Miami River south to 25th Road, has distinct cultural, historic, architectural, recreational, natural and/or scenic resources value.

Although the battle has been won, neighbors should still check out, the website created for the effort. It may take your connection several seconds to load, but it’s worth the loads of information and the beautiful historic images of Brickell.

From BHA News, Summer 2007, Vol. XVII, No. 2