Perez Art Museum of Miami: Despite Odd Angles and Odious Name, PAMM Is Promising

Categories: Unreal Estate

Michael E. Miller
PAMM rises downtown
Drivers headed west toward downtown on the MacArthur Causeway have been greeted by two strange sights lately. To the north, the old Miami Herald office has already begun to decay, its once grand signage replaced by the flickering neon of what looks like a dive bar named Brown Mackie College. Meanwhile, in stark contrast to the newspaper's sad slump, a futuristic building has suddenly risen to the south. Perched atop concrete stilts, it peers over the causeway like a spaceship from Orson Welles' War of the Worlds.

It's no alien invader. But the new Miami Art Museum -- designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron -- is nonetheless on a mission to take this city's cultural scene into hyperdrive.

Director Thomas Collins recently took New Times on a tour of the much-discussed building. Here's how it went.

See also:
- Jorge Perez's Art Donation to MAM Is Underwhelming
- Art Basel's Biggest Buy: Jorge Perez Gets MAM Name For $35 Million, Over Objections

We arrived with reservations. After all, the museum has been embroiled in controversy since it officially changed its name to the Pérez Art Museum Miami. In 2011, billionaire real estate developer Jorge M. Pérez -- known as the tropical Donald Trump -- slapped his name on the structure in exchange for a $40 million donation of cash and art. Several board members board quit over the decision.

Equally jarring is the initial impression that PAMM has a better view of the causeway than of Biscayne Bay or the Miami skyline. But Collins, outfitted in a cowboy-hat-shaped hard hat, assured us that architects at Herzog & de Meuron had done their homework.

Michael E. Miller
PAMM director Thomas Collins shows off the museum's bay view
"If the building directly faced the bay, you'd have an hour and a half of sunlight blazing through the gallery every morning," he said. Not exactly ideal for priceless paintings. Another reason the building is flush with the MacArthur is to hide parking and to preserve as much space as possible for the adjacent Museum Park.

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Hint. Never accept naming rights from a condominium developer.  Most condominiums in Miami are botched beyond belief.  Doubt most even meet Section 8 standards and that includes million dollar condominiums in Miami Beach. 

Cary Cary
Cary Cary

^^^ true. Also the name sucks.

Omar Ghaffar
Omar Ghaffar

One day it will be under water..a bad place to build it..

Sono Mataumo
Sono Mataumo

WOW! "We don't have to drag a 120-year-old building into the 21st Century like museums in other cities," Collins said. Right, Real city museums, like NYC's Met or Chgo's AIC, as opposed to fatamorgana museums for build-as-you-go cities lile LA and Miami... like this one... a $220 million project (including $100 million from county taxpayers) ... and $40 from Pérez... ahmayami, demayikzit


"World class" museum with more building than art, and hardly any art that's up to snuff. What with PAMM's permanent collection rounded out by Jorge Perez's 'generous' donations, I can't wait until Bonnie works her magic on MOAFL. PAMM is going to be left in her dust. It's a shame that this building project went ahead before the museum collected any real art. No wonder all of Miami's serious collectors hate on this place so much.

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