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The Seybold building has been standing tall since 1926. (📸: State Archives of Florida)
REMEMBER WHEN … THE SEYBOLD BROUGHT SHINE TO DOWNTOWN
THE BUILDING: The Seybold building was built back in 1926 as the brainchild of its namesake, John Seybold, who moved to Miami in the late 19th century and eventually set up a bakery. That business burned down, but he bounced back with another bakery. He then went on to run a shopping mall (called an arcade back then) that became the basis of the 10-story Seybold building.
THE BUSINESS: The bottom floors stayed true to Seybold’s arcade vision and were filled with barber shops, dress shops, and the bakery that started Seybold’s empire. Doctors offices and law practices occupied the upper floors, a common configuration in Downtown Miami that’s remained as big law firms pack into newer buildings in the area.
THE BLING: While there’s always been a mix of businesses in the Seybold building, it really became known as THE place to get a great wedding ring or a classic piece of jewelry. That rep started in the 1960s when Buchwald Jewelers set up shop and several others followed their lead. The influx of Cubans setting up jewelry shops in the 1980s was also a big factor, and now the building is the largest jewelry building in Florida. It’s only topped nationally by the Diamond District in New York.
THE BUILDING TODAY: Not much has changed beyond a few building upgrades over the years and businesses moving in and out. The majority of the tenants are still jewelry and watch merchants, diamond cutters, repair shops, and other specialty shops. If you’re looking for something fancy, or just need to get your watch face fixed, consider dropping by this Miami gem.
Stay tuned for more semi-regular pieces of Miami history. And check this story for more on the history of the Seybold building in Downtown Miami. If there’s any other overlooked or lesser-known Miami history you think we should look into, hit reply and let us know.
CITY MAKERS: A VISION FOR MIDTOWN
If you could start a neighborhood in Miami from scratch, what would it look like? That was the challenge for Bernard Zyscovich, founder and CEO of Zyscovich Architects.
In 2000, the City of Miami initiated a redevelopment study and Bernard was tapped to research the area between Biscayne Bay and I-95, from I-395 to 81st St. Through zoning codes, urban planning and imagination, he and other pioneers examined, created, and developed the master plan for what you see (and will see) in the center of the area now known as Midtown.
See how Bernard was able to forever change the city by transforming the once fenced-in 56 acres of container storage into a growing part of Miami, with influences from its artistic and creative Wynwood and Design District neighbors.
WHAT'S NEW IN THE 305
Running behind schedule. Remember that big vote on bus rapid transit we told you about? Yeah, it was supposed to be decided last week at the county Transportation Planning Organization meeting, but the vote was delayed until Aug. 30. The main reason for the delay was opposition from South Dade residents who would prefer an extension of the Metrorail down to the area instead of a new bus system. Another interesting wrinkle with the delay: The meeting is set for two days after the Aug. 28 election when five county commissioners are facing opponents. Stay tuned, folks. (Miami Herald)
Discrimination, by the numbers. People of color in Miami-Dade County are more likely to be arrested, convicted and jailed than white residents, according to a new report. The ACLU of Florida released a study of criminal-justice data from 2010 to 2015 and found that the criminal justice system delivered harsher penalties to African-American and Hispanic residents than it did to white Miamians. Black Hispanics fared worst, facing four times greater rates of arrest and six times greater rates of incarceration, relative to their share of Miami-Dade’s population. White defendants were more likely to have their charges dropped or to not face prosecution for similar or sometimes more significant crimes than people of color. You can find the full report here. (Miami New Times)
Waste not. Want not. There’s a new concept in Downtown Miami that’s experimenting with creating shakes from leftover ingredients–but we promise it’s not as gross as it might sound. The “milkshake lab” concept, called Shake That, is opening at Freshko Gourmet this Thursday and is using food the restaurant would’ve thrown out to make tasty shakes with names like “Nutella Tiramisu” and “Miami Heat.” (Miami.com)
Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don’t. One of SoFlo’s biggest job placement companies, CareerSource South Florida, is facing scrutiny for some shady reporting on their numbers. An audit by the Miami-Dade inspector general’s office found that the company reported full-time job placements for people who were working part-time gigs and misrepresented numbers for thousands of applicants. (Miami New Times)
Just trying to get home. After Hurricane Irma made its way through South Florida, Miami Beach residents who fled the storm faced some extended delays and headaches trying to get back home. The city is trying to avoid those delays this hurricane season by getting info out to residents through an alert program. When residents submit their ZIP codes, they can get customized emergency updates and storm info via phone call, email, text, or through a push notification. Text MBALERT to 888777 to sign up. (Miami Herald)
Warriors, come out and play. The Liberty City Warriors youth football team has been the starting point for generations of eventual pro football stars. Now the Starz show featuring the team, founded by Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell, has a premiere date. The six-part series, called “Warriors of Liberty City,” premieres Sept. 16. (Eurweb)
🏨 Got thoughts on the Miami Beach convention center hotel plan? You can share your opinions and hear the latest about the plan tomorrow night. City officials and members of the development team will also be present to answer questions. The meeting goes from 6 to 8 p.m. in the community room at police department headquarters, 1100 Washington Ave.
Got an opportunity, workshop, scholarship, grant, etc. you want other curious locals to know about? Hit us up at [email protected] to have it listed here.
OUR PARTNER EVENTS
🍰Wednesday: Make your own sweets with La Romi Bakery (Wynwood)
🗣️Thursday: Ask a dietician all your questions about sugar (Allapattah)
🇳🇬Thursday, August 2: Hit up PAMM’s free community night with Nigerian Filmmaker, Andrew Dosunmu. (Downtown)
💡Saturday, August 4: Watch all of the lights in an illuminated parade at Vizcaya (Coconut Grove)
Check out this event from our advertiser, The Miami-Dade Beacon Council.
LEARN MORE »
Want to reach the right people in Miami? Check out our advertising packages.
🗝️ Digitize your historic photos of the 305 for a chance to get them in a book (Coconut Grove)
📚Learn more about the Reading Corps program (Overtown)
🎸Catch The Smashing Pumpkins at the AAA (Downtown)
🎥Watch “Matilda” for free as part of the Roald Dahl film series (Miami Shores)
🎨Jam to some music, drinking, and painting with Art Box (Doral)
🗣️Discuss building on the momentum of the #MeToo movement (Liberty City)
🎷Catch jazz musician Ed Calle on the MOCA plaza (North Miami)
🚴 Ride with Critical Mass in honor of those lost to drunk and distracted driving (Downtown)
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag @thenewtropic on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with a New Tropic membership.
SOME GREAT QUESTIONS
We’re grateful to you all for all the great questions you’ve sent in as we work to build a voter guide to the Aug. 28 local and primary elections. You can still submit any and all questions you have here until 5 p.m. today. If you need some inspo, here’s a sample of the more than 50 questions we’ve gotten:
We’ll see ya tomorrow.
– The New Tropic