The Wynwood neighborhood, a local arts mecca and one of Miami’s hippest neighborhoods, was once known as the “golden gate” for Hispanic immigrants. A melting pot of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Haitians, African-Americans, Nicaraguans and Dominicans that had been crippled by a bad image and a deteriorating economy. In the 1950s, Wynwood — originally spelled Wyndwood — was home to non-Hispanic white professionals and several factories including Coca-Cola and Garrett Construction. Jobs were plentiful. In the 1960s came Interstate 95, an addition often associated with the slow pattern of deterioration in the community. It was followed by an exodus of the middle class. During the 1970s, Wynwood’s garment district thrived as one of Miami’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing thousands of shoppers — many from South America. But problems with Latin economies, burgeoning crime, and riots of the 1980s took a toll on business. In the past decade, as the Design District to the north becomes prohibitively expensive, Wynwood’s lower rents and ample warehouses started attracting the art crowd and developers.
7/18/1996, Donna E. Natale Planas/Miami Herald: Natalia Arzuarga,80, jokes around with her dominoe playing friends at De Hostos Senior Center in Wynwood.
8/13/1996, Nuri Vallbona/Miami Herald: Raul Martinez, executive director of Aspira, applauds after the unveiling of a mural painted by Aspira students, titled "Bridging the Cultural Heritage of the Wynwood Community." The organization's goal is to empower the Latino community through the education and leadership development of its youth.
10/20/1995, Donna E. Natale-Planas/Miami Herald: Emilio Lopez, Chairman of the Wynwood Community Advisory Committee, has struggled to bring the bust of Puerto Rican Patriot Eugenio Maria De Hostos to the Wynwood Neighborhood Center for whom the center is named after.
12/4/1990, Wilfredo Lee/Miami Herald: Catholic Residents of the Wynwood neighborhood gathered at La Reina Shoe Store for their weekly prayer meeting.
1997, CM Gouerrero/Miami Herald: Kids from the Wynwood community proudly carry the Puerto Rican flag as part of the parade.
3/14/1992, Al Diaz/Miami Herald: The Wynwood Warriors football players, Luis Maldonado, 15, runs the ball during game against the Miami Police department's Do the Right Thing team.
8/22/1992, Al Diaz/Miami Herald: Luis Flores, 12; Margarita Tolentino; Luis Angle Maldonado help clean up Roberto Clemente Park.
7/26/1990, Esther Sampedro/Miami Herald: Nilsa Velazquez speaks with the festival committee about preparations for the Old San Juan Wynwood Festival.
8/20/1999, Roberto Koltun/El Nuevo Herald: Luis martinez owner of Vega Baja Mini Super Market, a store serving his his neighborhood in Wynwood, is counting pennies that Mr. Isaias Ramos brought to buy a quart of milk.
1992, Fernand0 Yoveral/Miami Herald: A group of neighbors in the Wynwood neighborhood play dominoes in a corner on 2nd Avenue.
11/10/1987, Brian M. Christopher/Miami Herald:Two generations and two cultures of Wynwood. Cuban American Elio Ramirez, 73 and Puerto Rican John Slaughter, 14.
2/9/1995,Al Diaz/Miami Herald: Jessica Francos, 13, Nancy Perez, 15, and Erndy Lederl, 15, read a list of names of those who have died recently from drug or gang related violence. ASPIRA organized the candle light vigil as part of "Increase the Peace " Drug and Gang Awareness Week. The vigil was held at Roberto Clemente Park.
7/7/1983, Bob East/Miami Herald: Anibal Nieves had to bring in his own punching bag at Roberto Clemente Park.
8/20/1999, Roberto Koltun/El Nuevo Herald: Luis Martinez (right), owner of Vega Baja Mini Super Market at Wynwood, talks with a customer.
2/10/1995, A. Enrique Valentin/El Nuevo Herald: ASPIRA members march onto NW 36 St. carrying a banner size pledge signed by youngsters promising to keep the peace and stay off drugs.
11/11/1987, Brian M. Christopher/Miami Herald: Three months ago, the city assigned Segundo Lemus to clean the streets of Wynwood. "Too bad I can't do nothing for the walls," he said.
8/15/1992, C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald: Peaceful demonstrators rally at Roberto Clemente park in Wynwood on behalf of Leonardo Alameda.
3/29/1991, Donna E. Natale/Miami Herald: Eleno Alvarez, owner of Robert Super Market on Second Avenue between 33 and 34th Streets, approaches Fred Santiago and Mrs. Elena Alvarez as they talk over the construction problems plaguing their neighborhood.
11/24/1998, Donna Natale Planas/Miami Herald: A Thanksgiving feast, sponsored by Metro Dade Department of Human Services and the Wynnwood Community Advisory Committee was held at the Eugenio Maria De Hostos Neighborhood Center in Wynwood. .Eric Silva,5, who along with his classmates from Eneida M. Hartner Elementary and KIDCO Day Care provided the entertainment.
Undated, Taimy Alvarez/Miami Herald: Nilsa Velazquez is the coordinator this weekend's Old San Juan Wynwood Festival. They been putting up signs all over the area.
8/13/1993, Marice Cohn Band/Miami Herald: Homeowners of a part of Wynwood neighborhood voice their opinion about how they feel about the school board trying to buy their houses out from under them. Ana Diaz argues with school board members and Virginia Rosen, from the cities planning board, about buying their houses for a school project. Diaz lives with her brother who owns a home involved in the proposed buy-out, they do not want to move.
8/4/1992, Marice Cohn Band/Miami Herald: Wynwood's Fashion District opened up 17 new stores which should provide jobs for Wynwood residents. During the opening ceremonys the Herbert Lincoln of Silver Dance Production entertained the crowds. On the right are several Korean children that modeled for the fashion show from Popsy for Kids, one of the stores in the new center.
7/7/1983, Bob East/Miami Herald: Kids at Roberto Clemente Park are served federally bought lunches no furniture so they sit on the floor.
10/4/1991, Angel Valentin/Miami Herald: Adrian Diaz, 14, dances to the beat of a marching band in the Wynwood section of Miami. Diaz was taking part of a march organized by the Aspira Clubs of different high schools from that neighborhood. The event was aimed to denounce the use of drugs and violence in the area.
6/25/1999, Donna E. Natale Planas/Miami Herald: This building at 150 N.W. 21st. St. in Wynwood was to have been the site of a Rave Party Saturday night.
5/30/1992, Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald: Iran Acevedo wears a Puerto Rican Flag in his glasses during the festivities celebrating the $1.9 million in renovations at the Roberto Clemente Park, bringing new hope to the predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood.
7/28/1990, C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald: Gilberto Cortes at the second annual Old San Juan Wynwood Festival.
8/15/1992, C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald: About two dozen protesters marched through Wynwood to protest what they say are police abuses in the central Miami neighborhood. Marchers started at Northwest 36th Street and Second Avenue, then headed south for two blocks. Recently, residents have complained of police misconduct in the Aug. 9 death of Fermin Alameda. He died from injuries suffered when Miami police subdued him after firefighters complained that he interfered with them as they were trying to stop a fire near Alameda's house.