|An Island, a Blimp, and a Young City|
|Written by By Paul George Special to the BT|
A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami
Several of the most iconic images of old Miami are evident in this photograph, taken in 1934. Hovering above the recently dredged Watson Island is the Goodyear blimp. For nearly 50 years the blimp provided tourists and locals with panoramic views of the Magic City.
The MacArthur Causeway, which opened in 1920, predated Watson Island’s birth by 11 years. The island, which was named for John Watson, Sr., an early Miami mayor, and his son, John Watson, Jr., a long-serving city attorney, has been the object of innumerable schemes since its creation.
Across the bay is the bustling Port of Miami, which operated at that location from the early 1900s until the mid-1960s. Miami was already an important cruise-ship port, as evidenced by the large building housing the offices of the Clyde Mallory Lines.
Immediately north of the port and abutting the entrance to the MacArthur Causeway stand the storage tanks of Belcher Oil, one of the city’s most important businesses. Near the upper-right corner of the photograph is the historic Sears Tower (one of Miami’s first Art Deco buildings) and department store, site of today’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
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The Smithsonian honors a local documentary photographer
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