Bayfront Park facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsBayfront Park
Bayfront Park and Plaza in February 2020, with the Ferris Wheel under construction
|Location||Downtown, Miami, Florida, United States|
|Area||32 acres (13 ha)|
|Operated by||Bayfront Park Management Trust|
|Public transit access||Bayfront Park (Metromover station)|
Bayfront Park is a 32-acre (13 ha) public, urban park in Downtown Miami, Florida on Biscayne Bay. The Chairman to the trust is Ary Shaeban. Located in the park is a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus sculpted by Count Vittorio di Colbertaldo of Verona, one of Benito Mussolini’s hand picked ceremonial bodyguards known as the “Black Musketeers.”
The park began construction in 1924 under the design plans of Warren Henry Manning and officially opened in March 1925. Beginning in 1980, it underwent a major redesign by Japanese-American modernist artist and landscape architect, Isamu Noguchi. Today, Bayfront Park is maintained by the Bayfront Park Management Trust, a limited agency of the city of Miami, Florida.
Bayfront Park is bordered on the north by Bayside Marketplace and the American Airlines Arena, on the south by Chopin Plaza, on the west by Biscayne Boulevard and on the east by Biscayne Bay. Bayfront Park is host to many large events such as the New Year's ball drop, Christmas celebrations, concerts, the Bayfront Park Amphitheater, the Tina Hills Pavilion, as well as boat tours around Biscayne Bay.
Seven blocks north is Bayfront Park's partner park, the 30-acre (0.12 km2) Bicentennial Park. This park’s name has been changed to Museum Park and it is home to The Perez Art Museum and the Frost Science Museum.
In June 2020, the park's Ponce de Leon and Christopher Columbus statues were vandalized, though it was announced that they would not be removed.
Site of assassination of Anton Cermak
On February 15, 1933, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was shot three times in the chest and mortally wounded while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt in front of Bayfront Park by assassin Giuseppe Zangara. Along with Cermak, who died of his wounds 19 days later, four other people were hit by the gunman, one of whom also died. A serious debate has ensued as to whether Zangara had been actually trying to assassinate Roosevelt instead of Cermak, however no firm evidence has been found out to prove this theory.
A bronze statue of Christopher Columbus was placed in the park in 1952, donated by the city's Italian-American community. The statue itself was sculpted by Count Vittorio di Colbertaldo of Verona, one of Benito Mussolini’s hand picked ceremonial bodyguards known as the “Black Musketeers.” Colbertaldo doubled as the Musketeers's sculptor, producing statutes which commemorated the organization. A second Columbus statue done by Colbertaldo is in Pioneer Park in San Francisco. On June 10th, 2020 the Columbus statue at Bayfront Park was spray-painted with red paint, symbolizing spilt blood, as an act of protest against the continued glorification of a man responsible for ushering in an era of exploitation and slaughter of Indigenous peoples by European colonizers. The action was carried out by individuals protesting the murder of George Floyd and police brutality.
Bayfront Park holds the city's annual "America's Birthday Bash" on Independence Day, which attracted over 60,000 visitors in 2011. The park also hosts the city's official New Year's Eve party that annually hosts over 70,000 visitors. Visitors are encouraged to take public transport for events at Bayfront Park as parking can be scarce and expensive. The nearest Metrorail station is Government Center. From there a connection to the Metromover is available with three stops near the park, Bayfront Park, First Street, and College/Bayside.
It has been the site of the Ultra Music Festival, an electronic dance music event. In 2018, Miami's commissioners barred the festival from being held downtown, citing complaints surrounding noise and the behavior of attendees, resulting in a relocation to Virginia Key. The festival will return to the park in March 2021.
- The Bayfront Park Amphitheater has a seating capacity of 10,000 people: 2,672 fixed benches and 7,328 in the lawn.
- The Tina Hills Pavilion is an open-air pavilion with a seating capacity of 1,000 people: 200 fixed seats and 800 in the lawn.
A series of motorsports events have taken place on a temporary street circuit at Bayfront Park dating back to 1983.
- For the IMSA race from 1983-1985, see Grand Prix of Miami (sports car racing)
- For the Champ Car race from 2002-2003, see Grand Prix of Miami (Indycar)
- For the ALMS race from 2002-2003, see Grand Prix of Miami (sports car racing)
Bayfront Park Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.