Bicentennial Park

Located south of the MacArthur Causeway between Biscayne Boulevard and Biscayne Bay, the 35-acre facility was scheduled to open in 1976, but it missed our nation’s birthday party. With only a third of the $4.2-million project completed, the landscape contractor disappeared, work stopped, and the opening slipped to the spring of 1977. Renowned landscape architect Edward D. Stone had designed the park as a “unique retreat from urban pressures,” despite its downtown location. Large earthen mounds shielded the park from Biscayne Boulevard, and the grounds were laid out as a natural sanctuary, with a picnic area and man-made hills sculpted by the bay to serve as scenic overlooks. That idea didn’t fly in ’70s Miami, however. From its opening in January 1977, Bicentennial Park has been walled off from the city, the large berms facing Biscayne Boulevard an imposing disincentive to enter. Though the intent was to make this 34-acre park a sanctuary, a retreat in a busy city, the effect was the opposite. The design – and a host of crimes soon after the opening – scared people off. The park briefly housed a Grand Prix raceway in the 80’s and was scouted by the Florida Marlins for a stadium, but was mostly left to deteriorate. In recent years it has been the host of several high-profile music festivals like Lollapalooza and Ultra. In 2014 the park was renovated and renamed Museum Park.

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