WHAT IT IS: Standing at the corner SW 157 Ave and SW 232nd Street for over a hundred years, Anderson’s Corner has seen it all. The wood-frame structure, built by William “Popp” Anderson in the early 1900s, was just named to Dade Heritage Trust’s Most Endangered Sites in Miami-Dade list.
Originally a general store that served the surrounding farming community, the building was converted into apartments in the 1930s. It was later condemned in 1975 and received a reprieve for rehabilitation. In 1977, it was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The building was named a Miami-Dade historic site in 1981 and was the first building to be officially designated as a county historic site. Shortly after that, it became a successful restaurant called Harvest House.
But Hurricane Andrew nearly destroyed the property in 1992. The building hasn’t been habitable since.
“Historic preservation can kind of divide people,” said Sarah Cody, historic preservation chief for Miami Dade County. “Some people see the value and some people don’t, but I’ve never seen any division about this building. It’s pretty universal that people really love it – and recognize the value of it – and really hope to see a better future for the building.”
Cody says that she recently worked with Anderson’s Corner’s current owner to make sure the windows, doors, and wood siding were secure. She shared that the owner is looking for someone to purchase the building. Ideally, it’s someone who, “will be able to take the property and really restore it and bring it back into use for people.”
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: There’s a lot of reasons to care about preserving and maintaining historic properties. For Cody, “it’s about community building and about recognizing what makes our community special and unique and celebrating that.”
For her, historic preservation gives her a sense of place.
“If we got rid of all of our historic buildings and just built everything new, there’s nothing special about that. We could be any place and there’s nothing to say, ‘Oh, this is Miami, this is where we came from,’” Cody said.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: If you love Anderson’s Corner – and are ready to roll up your sleeves on a project – you can purchase the property. The owners have it listed for sale.
To help preserve and showcase Greater Miami’s architectural, environmental, and cultural heritage, Dade Heritage Trust is celebrating the launch of the annual Preservation Today Magazine on May 21 at the Olympia Theater. The group will also launch their downtown Miami walking tour app to help people uncover Miami’s past.