"Concrete Paradise": The Past, Present, and Future of Miami Marine Stadium
Tonight marks the grand opening of the Coral Gables Museum's new exhibition, "Concrete Paradise: The Miami Marine Stadium," which takes viewers through the history of the stadium, from its inception to the prospective renderings of its future renovations. The exhibition seamlessly interweaves the what curator Rosa Lowinger described as "the first third of the stadium's life," leaving you with an invigorated sense of hope and excitement for what will come in the next two-thirds of its history.
Courtesy of the Coral Gables Museum A young Hilario Candela stands with the Miami Marine Stadium during construction
There's a good deal to be learned from this exhibit. For instance, the stadium isn't technically called Miami Marine Stadium - officially, it was dedicated as the Commodore Ralph Middleton Munroe Stadium, named after the dedicated public benefactor who, among other notable accomplishments, founded the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and deeded the land over for the construction of the stadium. For the next three months, the Coral Gables Museum will effectively be removing Miami Marine Stadium from strictly existing as the dank shell of its former self and giving the public an opportunity to see it in all its seasons.
Tonight's grand opening will feature some additional spectacles, like live parkour outside and attractive light installations, but the heart of the exhibition is in the content that will be on display for the next few months, including Hilario Candela's original hand-drawn sketches of the stadium; a colorfully illustrated Argentine movie poster for the Elvis Presley film, Clambake, which used Miami Marine Stadium as its backdrop; and arresting renderings of what the stadium will look like after it's reborn and reopened.
"The story is the story of a building that has been completely influential in Miami," said Rosa Lowinger, curator of the "Concrete Paradise" exhibition, "from the time it was built until today. It influences culture in this city and it's influenced by culture in this city."
According to Lowinger, the museum has been successful in amassing a respectable collection of original documents and relics, in large part by combing through eBay listings. They were also contacted by many members of the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, who apparently reached out in droves once their newsletter got the word out about the upcoming exhibition.