When speedboat racer James Tapp died in a boating accident on the opening day of the Miami Marine Stadium, a quirky architectural gem on Virginia Key designed by Cuban architect Hilario Candela in 1963 as grandstand seating to watch water sports, it did not bode well for the new venue. The football field-length roofline with its span of cantilevered concrete was a marvel of design and engineering and hosted stars like Gloria Estefan, Jimmy Buffett and even Elvis Presley’s film ‘Clambake,’ but it was no match for Hurricane Andrew. The structure was deemed unsafe in 1992 and condemned to abandonment, slowly becoming a concrete canvas for graffiti artists and a playground for parkour athletes.
The Coral Gables Museum (285 Aragon Ave.) takes a look at the history of this local ruin through photos and posters at a time when the Miami Marine Stadium could be posed to make a comeback thanks to the ongoing efforts of the nonprofit organization Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, which is working to raise funds to restore the structure to its former glory. The Museum is open noon-6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission $7 adults, $5 students and seniors, $3 children 6-12. Information at coralgablesmuseum.org.