Museum Park Miami

The former Bicentennial Park was the original home of the Port of Miami with a long history of industrial maritime use. In 1976 it became a park but soon turned into a site for crime, homelessness and occasional events. The City created a race track in the park to hold grand prix style auto racing, which only further degraded the value of the park. But the 29 acre site includes a half mile of bayfront adjoining the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve and fabulous views of downtown and ships of all scales.

A prior master plan had recommended that the park be activated by locating new buildings for the Art Museum and Science Museum. This plan however called for the museums to flank Biscayne Boulevard, potentially creating a wall between the city and the park, isolating the park and bay. Our team led a public and stakeholder process which relocated the museums to 8 acres along the northern edge, lining highway I-395 and providing open views of the bay from the street while also giving the museums overview of the parkland.

Our design for the park establishes a central play lawn which reaches to the bay, surrounds the park with a continuous 30 foot wide baywalk, adds structure parking, a concession building and restaurant, and creates a sequence of varied native and domestic gardens leading to the bay to encourage walking, gathering, play and reflection.

Construction for both museums began in 2012 to be followed by completion of the park. When complete the public will finally have a fully accessible urban park to support the north downtown neighborhoods with free and open access to the bay.

Client: Miami Mayor’s Office
Collaborators: Cooper Robertson & Partners
Completed: Plan 2009
Budget: $53 million