The Bank Takes Over Dade Commonwealth Building: Photo Tour of New Downtown Club

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All photos by Ivanna Vidal
Step inside The Bank's vault.
Few nightclubs can claim to inhabit a building as old as the historic Miami-Dade County Courthouse. But the Meyer-Kiser Building (AKA the Dade Commonwealth Building) has been standing in Downtown Miami since 1925, first as a 17-story structure, later salvaged as a seven-story building when a 1926 hurricane toppled the top ten floors.

For decades, the building served as a bank until urban blight hit the area and it fell into disrepair. According to a 2004 South Florida Business Journal article, the building "housed the state's first elevator and a 300-plus square foot vault, once regarded as the largest in the state."

Now, though, the Dade Commonwealth Building is home to a new nightclub called The Bank.

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But usually, that's not enough to save a building in Miami, a city with too little regard for its historic past. Many culturally important structures met their demise during the great building boom at the turn of this century (see the Everglades Hotel). So it's fitting that the man who saved the Dade Commonwealth Building is a New York City native.

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"When I first saw the building it was falling apart," owner Jay Suarez tells us over the phone. "It had rusted rebar coming out of the chest of the eagles. It affected me to see such a beautiful landmark withering away."

Suarez admits the rehabilitation of the building was a labor of love with an estimated $5 million being poured into restoring the structure to its former glory and little income being produced from the tenants that occupy the upstairs offices.

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In a way, The Bank was a product of necessity, says Saurez. "No one was renting and I have this building that is beautiful. So one my tenants is [Custom Music Solutions], a promotional company for nightclubs, and I got together with them. I offered the space and it took us about 14 months to create it."

Location Info

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The Bank

139 NE 1st St., Miami, FL

Category: Music


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3 comments
llubin83
llubin83

What kills me, is that I always do my research because I know people in Downtown Miami  love to discriminate.Take some advice: IF YOU ARE A PLUS SIZED  WOMAN, DONT GO HERE! YOU WILL NOT BE WELCOMED and then "K" the owner will leave you in the heat for an hour to encourage you to leave. Then, he'll send a person of your race to tell you he's not letting you in. When you ask why, he lets you know he is the owner of this club so he picks and chooses who is allowed in and whose not.AVOID BANK LOUNGE AT ALL COST!!!

Blue_Angel_23
Blue_Angel_23

@ITMom:disqus ..,....I саn`t bеlеivе.....Мy friеnd`s sistеr mакеs 78/hr оn thе intеrnеt. Shе hаs bееn unеmрlоуеd fоr 11 mоnths but lаst mоnth hеr incоmе wаs 7985$ јust wоrкing оn thе РС fоr а fеw hоurs. Gо tо this wеb sitе ....http://alturl.com/677zd

Anon
Anon

"We cater to [professionals] who want to go out and unwind a little bit."

doublespeak for "we expect plenty of yuppies and will price our drinks accordingly."

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