February 28, 2024


For splendid leisure

Miami Oculto podcast discusses abandoned structures in Miami

2 min read

Miami Marine Stadium is featured in Episode 2 | Miami Oculto Podcast

Miami Marine Stadium is featured in Episode 2 | Miami Oculto Podcast


At first glance, Key Biscayne looks like any other little island with plenty of sun and sandy beaches.

This beautiful place beyond the Rickenbacker Causeway is like a postcard of blue sea and palm trees. But here lies a dilapidated zoo, an abandoned stadium by the bay and houses on stilts in the water. And what does Gloria Estefan have to do with all this? In the Miami Oculto (Hidden Miami) podcast, we tell you about it.

Watch the podcast with English subtitles here:

Today we investigate three abandoned but not forgotten places in Miami. We start with the island zoo, which was created when an animal show caravan was damaged, stranding two black bears, three monkeys and a goat.

In 1948, the City of Miami purchased land on Key Biscayne and created the first public zoo. Believe it or not, the zoo had a polar bear, a gift from Alaska. Lions, giraffes, chimpanzees — the zoo had up to 1,200 animals and a train. But what happened to that place that so many Miami children loved and what is it today?

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A tired polar bear at Crandon Park Zoo in Miami. Miami Herald Archives

From there we move on to Miami Marine Stadium, which was built in 1963 for powerboat racing events. It’s a strange place with a wild history: President Richard Nixon and Sammy Davis Jr. once famously hugged there, and it was the scene of concerts by music greats and an Elvis Presley movie. Today it is in danger of extinction.

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Gloria Estefan (center) Architect Hilario Candela (at left) and Emilio Estefan arrived by yacht to help host a press conference on Thursday November 13, 2014 at Miami Marine Stadium to formally announce an agreement to host the Miami International Boat Show at the stadium in 2016 and 2017, and negotiations for a long-term lease between the city and the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium. PATRICK FARRELL MIAMI HERALD

And we end our tour with the houses of Stiltsville. There were once 27 colorful structures, but now only six remain. There was a private club where the jet set met and the parties were legendary. What happened at these parties? Connect now to the Hidden Miami podcast and we’ll tell you about it.

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One of the remaining Stiltsville structures in Biscayne Bay. Al Diaz

Listen to the podcast in Spanish here:

Tune in on Tuesdays to watch video episodes of the Miami Oculto podcast on YouTube and the el Nuevo Herald website. Find all the episodes of the Hidden Miami podcast on your favorite audio platform: Spotify Podcast, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Music.

This story was originally published July 19, 2022 8:00 AM.

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Jessica Serrano is a bilingual journalist with 20 years experience in media. Born in Ecuador and raised in Miami, she writes local, travel, and human interest stories. She has two Master’s degrees, one from Florida International University in Investigative Journalism. Her passions are horses, nature, cheese and smiling.

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