Miami Omni CRA’s Fire Station No. 2 wins county, state preservation honors

Lourdes Solera of MC Harry Associates and Pieter Bockweg, executive director of the Miami Omni CRA

Lourdes Solera of MC Harry Associates and Pieter Bockweg, executive director of the Miami Omni CRA

The newly-renovated 1926 Miami Fire Station No. 2 at 1401 N. Miami Avenue is being honored by the Dade Heritage Trust and the Florida Trust For Historic Preservation.

The Dade Heritage Trust will honor the Omni/Midtown Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) with a DHT Preservation Award at 6 p.m. April 29 at the Coral Gables Museum.

The Florida Trust will honor the fire station’s preservation May 15-17 at its annual conference in Tampa. The engineer, M.C. Henry and Associates, will receive a Meritorious Recognition Award in the Adaptive Use category.

In late 2011, the Omni/Midtown CRA, as the owner, launched the $3.5-million renovation of the fire station, which was completed last year.

“The building is an architecturally significant example of the Mediterranean Revival style,” said Marc D. Sarnoff, chairman of the Omni CRA. “Not only have we been able to preserve a piece of Miami ‘s history, but we have also been able to bring this building back to life to serve a useful purpose in the community.”

“We believe the station will be an architectural anchor as the neighborhood continues its transformation from blight to a welcoming place for visitors day and night,” said Pieter Bockweg, the CRA’s executive director. “The construction of Firehouse No. 2 in 1926, reflected the City’s response to the growing demand for municipal services occurring at the height of Miami’s Boom in 1925. Today, the CRA’s office is located on the second floor of the building and the ground floor has been leased to a restaurant as part of our mission to create economic opportunity and reinvigorate the neighborhood.”

Begun in 1924 and finished in 1926, the fire station was designed by noted South Florida architect August Geiger. The tenth registered architect in Florida, Geiger designed a number of other landmark properties in South Florida, including the 1915 Miami City Hospital, now known as “The Alamo” in the Jackson Memorial Hospital complex, and the 1925 Dade County Courthouse on Flagler Street downtown. Those and several other Geiger projects are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The fire station has been listed in the register since 1989.

About the Miami Omni CRA

The Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency was created to preserve and enhance the tax base of the Omni Redevelopment Area. The CRA is successfully accomplishing this goal by removing longstanding slum and blight conditions, and where feasible, by funding rehabilitative activities, upgrades to infrastructure, façade improvements, and job training and economic development programs. The CRA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for residents and stakeholders within the redevelopment areas through activities and programs that create new job opportunities, substantially improve the quality of the housing stock, and improve the physical appearance of the redevelopment area.

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