Miami High

One of the oldest buildings in the city, Miami Senior High School is a throwback to the days where learning institutions were treated with the highest regard and built that way. The original Miami High was a two-room wooden building built in 1902 behind the Miami Public School, a small elementary school located at what is now 301 NE First Ave. Fifteen students attended the two-room high school until 1911, when both buildings were replaced by a larger 3-story fireproof building called Central School. This new building housed all 12 grades until 1928, when the present complex was completed. Designed by the architectural firm of Kiehnel and Elliott, the new school was built with the care and attention to detail usually lavished on private enterprises. The roof’s red tile was imported from Spain by way of Cuba; heavy oak doors with wrought iron hinges came from Portugal; iron lanterns and terrazzo slabs for the school’s enclosed patios also were imported. Enormous 1,000-pound chandeliers were hung in the large auditorium, which was also used as a community meeting place. The building cost $1.5 million. At its dedication ceremony, school principal W.R. Thomas told his students they had the finest facility available and must strive to live up to it. Over the years, Miami High alumni have lived up to the challenge: State Rep. Dante Fascell, Green Bay Packers Coach Lindy Infante, actress Veronica Lake, entertainer Desi Arnaz and Sen. Bob Graham all attended school there.

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