Riverside Mahi Shrine Auditorium Demolished for New Megaproject

Categories: Unreal Estate

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Photo by Trevor Bach
The temple on the river is gone. The Mahi Shrine Auditorium, for decades the boxy, Miami River-adjacent home of the Mahi Shriners fraternity, was demolished Tuesday to make way for a new $200 million mixed-use commercial project on the site.

The new megasite is slated to include 444 residential units in two 12-story towers and more than a dozen commercial tenants, including Publix, LA Fitness, and Old Navy, exMiami reports.

"We believe this project will be a great catalyst for redevelopment in the area," Francisco J. Garcia, director of Miami's Planning Department, said after the city approved the project last year.

In addition to serving as the home of the Mahi Shriners, the building, with its characteristic statute of a fez-hatted fraternity member, was host to scores of events over the years, including the Miami Gun and Knife Show and the Mahi Shrine Circus.

By Tuesday afternoon only a small slab of concrete remained upright at the local chapter's former riverfront home, and two cranes pushed around the construction site's massive rock piles. At the edge of the eight-acre site an elderly man sat under a blue canopy and watched, his face covered in dirt.

When approached by Riptide the startled spectator said his name was Guillermo Aguilera and that he was formerly active with the Shriners. When asked what he thought of the destruction Aguilera shrugged, then offered a bewildered smile and pointed out that the site was sold for $30 million. Asked if the organization had plans for relocation, he shrugged again: "We don't know," he said in Spanish, smiling again.

The Mahi Shriners did not return a request for comment left by Riptide.

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Photo by Trevor Bach
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Location Info

Map

Miami Mahi Shrine - CLOSED

1480 NW N. River Drive, Miami, FL

Category: General


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17 comments
liliashb
liliashb

I remember when this place was new.  I attended many beautiful functions there.  My father was a Mahi Shriner and a close friend of the new potentate  of 1966.  The potentates ball was one of the most beautiful events I had ever seen.  My dad was the director  of the festivities for the potentate.  I know  all things change and I moved away from Miami years ago to run my own business.  I never had the chance to visit until it was too late. I understand the building was in decline and not taken care of.  I hope Mahi relocated to another place as nice as this one once was.  It's too bad it couldn't have been maintained and kept as an historic landmark of years gone by. Oh my goodness the memories.

mmlkr2c
mmlkr2c

yes another part of my childhood ripped away. My grandfather was a member from 1929 to when he died in 1972 of that Temple. I can't tell you how many dozens of times I was there in the 1960's and early 70's. This breaks my heart....just more of the "old Miami" gone forever. Will they at least let the statue stay as a reminder of what was there ?

Familia Ramirez
Familia Ramirez

Damn another landmark gone. Smh. Miami doesn't value it's history. That's why there is no sense of community here. Neighbourhoods don't have a connection to the land or its architecture.

teampingu6969
teampingu6969

The "startled spectator" that the writer interviewed was a demolition contractor.  Writer is a jackass.  Did writer really think that old dude was just sitting there - with dirt on his face?  Did writer really think the 85-year-old gaujiro was formally active with the Shriner's?  He was working! Mr. Aguilera could be hard to understand when he speaks English, but writer flat out made this stuff up and printed it.


Writer deserves to be released from his unpaid internship.

Edward Delatorre
Edward Delatorre

People can afford them; it's just that you don't know them.

Ron E. Chits
Ron E. Chits

I for one have attended more than one event there....the most memorable being a Miami carnival jam band session....but oh well progress

Dennis Barranco
Dennis Barranco

In the name of condominiums no one can afford and will be more than half empty.

Alex Pappas
Alex Pappas

Pay the right people and miami is your canvas

Carlos Rosario
Carlos Rosario

Bad idea, it's going to bring more crime to the area

Jesica Ibanez
Jesica Ibanez

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