Drama Continues Over Historic Circles Found At Met Square Site

Miami developer MDM wants to move forward with construction of a movie theater and hotel called Met Square, but must first deal with historic remains found at the site.

On Tuesday, a representative of MDM told the Miami Historic Preservation Board that the developer was ready to move forward with a plan to cut out and relocate the Royal Palm Circle, a 1,500 year old relic of Tequesta civilization. MDM has no plans to relocate other Tequesta circles that were found at the site this year, and will try to build Met Square in a way that will keep those circles buried intact underneath Met Square.

MDM says that they have signed leases at Met Square, and must begin construction as soon as possible, but board members are considering calling a special meeting to decide whether they have the legal standing to halt construction.

(photo via nathan sandler/wlrn)

6 Comments

  1. Jacob

    October 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I wish they could find a way to incorporate the ruins into the design of the building. On the one hand, it would be a travesty to cut them out and move them and on the other hand, I realize it is incredibly valuable property.

    Finding an appropriate way to incorporate the ruins into the new structure would be a great way to pay homage to the past and still forge ahead with Miami’s future.

  2. sarah

    October 3, 2013 at 8:50 am

    This site is essentially the birth place of Miami. Not only does it have numerous circles that remain from a riverfront Tequesta village, they also uncovered the original shoreline of Miami, as well as built features from Fort Dallas and the Royal Palm Hotel. So many layers of Miami history are captured in this one site – the story of Miami from prehistory through its origins as a tropical vacation destination can be told right on this one site in downtown! Let’s take some pride in our cities amazing history and act to preserve it!

    • Anonymous

      October 3, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Being the only really significant thing on this site, the circles can and should be moved.

      However, neither Fort Dallas (the structure of which I believe has been preserved elsewhere) nor the ruins of the former Royal Palm Hotel should serve as an impediment to the construction of Met Square. Miami had it’s chance to save the hotel and unfortunately it didn’t. Some old steps do not make an interesting stop on the Big Bus tours.

      • Anonymous

        October 10, 2013 at 5:20 am

        right, well said

  3. Mr. Gumsandals

    October 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

    To the two commentators above, please, really, this is crazy talk. We’re talking about, at best, holes. This is not like uncovering significant ARTifacts. No sculptures, mosaics, paintings will ever be recovered from this site. Maybe archae-terrorists (archaeologists on a mission) might find a shark’s tooth or two, an old button or broken bottle, maybe even a rusted tin can or an arrow head, but that’s about it. If you really want to know what was there, visit the Miami History museum. It could use some visitors.

    • Laz

      October 3, 2013 at 11:51 am

      if they didnt care about the 500 indians they fond buried there and moved secretly with the help of the tribe, they are not going to care about holes and steps. I do with the Steps could have been incorporated.

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