One of the most iconic buildings downtown Miami is the Freedom Tower, formerly the Miami News and Metropolis Building. Built in 1925, it was once the headquarters and printing facility for the Miami News which was considered the most dominant evening newspaper in Metropolitan Miami for many years. The Miami News vacated this historic edifice in 1957 and relocated to a new facility on the Miami River. It eventually ceased publication in 1988.
Located at 600 Biscayne Blvd, the Freedom Tower currently stands as a memorial of Cuban immigration to the United States. According to Wikipedia:
As refugees from Cuba fleeing Fidel Castro’s communist regime arrived in Miami during the 1960s, the Federal Government used the facility (The Tower) to process, document and provide medical and dental services for the newcomers. After the major era of refugees ended in 1972, the government sold the building to private ownership in 1974. In 1979, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1997 the building was purchased for US$4.1 million by Jorge Mas Canosa, founder of MasTec and initiator of the Cuban American National Foundation, and restored and converted into a monument for the refugees who fled to the United States from communist Cuba. It housed a museum, library, meeting hall, and the offices of the Cuban American national Foundation.
The building was purchased once again by a developer name Pedro Martin and the Terra Group which eventually donated the building to Miami Dade College and is currently being used as a cultural and educational center.
When Cuban Salsa Queen Celia Cruz died in 2003, she was memorialized at the Free Tower where more than 200,000 turned out to pay their respect to this Cuban gem.
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