January 13, 2014

Basel to Buffett: A Busy Time for Miami Marine Stadium

Art Basel chalet, 2013. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Swiss Chalet by artistic duo Kolkoz was created to highlight juxtapositions both in climate and architecture.

Art Basel and Jimmy Buffet aren’t two things you usually think of together. Art Basel is an international art show known for over the top modern art installations, and Jimmy Buffett is, well, Jimmy Buffett. But Miami Marine Stadium, a National Treasure, connects the two.

Let’s start with Art Basel. Every December, Miami is transformed into one of the world’s largest art fairs as 200+ galleries from around the globe descend on the city. This year, Miami Marine Stadium hosted an installation for the very first time. Presented by Audemars Piguet and Galerie Perrotin, the French artist duo known as Kolkoz, created something rarely seen in Miami -- a Swiss Chalet that floated on a temporary stage in front of the stadium.

As part of Art Basel, exclusive events were held two nights, and then the installation was open to the public for two days. The stadium has been closed since Hurricane Andrew, and the installation allowed people a chance to legally visit the iconic stadium for the first time in a little over 20 years. It also give visitors a unique perspective: Instead of looking out at the floating stage and bay as spectators, they were looking back towards the stadium like performers on the stadium’s famous floating stage would have done.

Happy family at Miami Marine Stadium. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
During the two days the installation was open to the public, National Trust staff spent time at the Stadium, answering questions about the place and letting folks know how they could get involved.

This is where we get to Jimmy Buffett. He performed at Miami Marine Stadium many times, and his 1980s concerts at the Stadium are legendary. He joined long-time Stadium supporter and National Trust Board Member Gloria Estefan on Thursday, January 9, at the Coral Gables Museum for “Celebrating Miami Marine Stadium with Gloria Estefan and Jimmy Buffet.”

During the event, 400 attendees heard from several different speakers, including Stadium architect Hilario Candela, before NBC 6 anchor Jackie Nespral interviewed the two stars about their memories of the Stadium and what they felt the opportunities were for its future reuse.

Gloria Estefan, Jimmy Buffett, Hilario Candela at Coral Gables exhibit. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Before the event began, Gloria and Jimmy received a special tour of “Concrete Paradise,” the Coral Gables Museum exhibit about Miami Marine Stadium. They are pictured in the exhibit with Stadium architect Hilario Candela.

Jimmy closed out the night by playing a set of nine songs with steel drummer player Robert Greenidge. The highlight for many in attendance was Jimmy’s final song -- "Margaritaville." Both Gloria and Emilio (her husband) joined Jimmy on stage.

The Community Outreach team live-tweeted/Instagrammed the event using the hashtag #MarineStadium, as did several others in attendance, and the event received significant media coverage from the Miami Herald, major TV outlets including NBC and ABC, and alternative newspapers such as the Miami New Times.

Emilio Estefan, Jimmy Buffett, Gloria Estefan, and Greenidge perform. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
(l. to r.) Emilio Estefan, Jimmy Buffett, Gloria Estefan, and Robert Greenidge performing “Margaritaville.”

In the upcoming weeks and months, the National Trust will continue working with the nonprofit group Friends of Miami Marine Stadium as they raise money to renovate and restore the Stadium. You can follow our efforts at SavingPlaces.org.

Grant is proud to be from a Main Street Community and the Black Dirt Capitol of the World—Conrad, Iowa! You can most often find him reading, running, or out on the road saving places.


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