Moving day uncovers the background of today's top news
By Michael Lewis
Photographer Maxine Usdan was sitting on the floor outside my office last week reading copies of Miami Today. It wasn't her usual spot to read, and they weren't copies you've recently seen.
She was poring over mid-1980s editions I'd pulled out of a closet as we prepared to move for the first time in more than 20 years, exclaiming over our front-page reports as though we'd just broken the news:
nThe fast-rising Brickell Bay Office Tower, one story said, would be Brickell's tallest commercial building, at 32 stories, when finished.
Veteran developer Tibor Hollo was upset that his plan for a city-financed downtown convention center was being linked to a proposed sports arena.
Tenants in Miami's Olympia Building above the Gusman Cultural Center were offering to pay higher rents to renovate the historic structure and keep the theater's curtain up.
Developers had flipped the Grand Bay Plaza office tower on South Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove, across the street from the Coconut Grove Exposition Center, weeks before construction would start.
What Maxine was exclaiming over was not photos she'd taken for those old papers, though she's been shooting for us since Day One, but the lingering relevance of the articles.
That was rewarding, because decisions on what news Miami Today will cover often hinge on long-term impact. If stories won't matter in the future, after all, how important can it be to write them today?
Steady readers realize how relevant those long-ago articles were:
nBrickell's commercial buildings now tower over the Brickell Bay Office Tower, which has renovated to compete in an era of new office giants that, as we reported last week, battle for Class A ratings.
Tibor Hollo continues to unveil plans, including one for Miami's tallest office tower, even as downtown interests seek their elusive meeting center, as we wrote two weeks ago. In the 1980s, the city did build an arena for the Miami Heat, then leveled it when yet another Heat arena rose from which government has yet to collect a penny.
The city has just postponed — again — efforts to take control of the Olympia Building and hand operation to a new foundation set up to renovate the Gusman and keep it operating. That theme never changes.
The Grand Bay hotel site beside the office building is soon to be razed for a very upscale condo tower, while city commissioners threaten to oust their Coconut Grove Exposition Center tenant, Burn Notice, to level the site for a park facing the new condos. The battle, which we've covered for weeks, has drawn national attention from fans of the popular cable series.
These 1980s reports became the basis for the future, just as today we're trying to give Miami Today readers a handle on what might come down the road.
Now, however, we serve readers in more ways. Our electronic edition contains every word of the printed page and lets users dig into all of our reports going back seven years. You don't have to leaf through paper after paper to find reasons for today's front-page issues.
As for leaders like Tibor Hollo, you can relive their thoughts for more than 15 years through our annual Book of Leaders reprints of our in-depth profiles.
In each case, news of the past becomes living prologue for the news of today.
As cleaning of closets implies, we'll provide that living history for our second 30 years starting today in a new home at 2000 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 100. Our old site in the last Brickell brick building is likely to itself become history soon as the area's development displaces structures.
Meanwhile, we're unpacking and installing. Our e-mail and phone numbers won't change. Our mail gets a 33133 zip code — though the postal service too is becoming history. Stacks of pre-Internet mail that flowed to us in two daily deliveries have slimmed to a thin trickle; now e-mails flood us.
However we deliver news to you — 70,000 of you read us in hand-delivered print copies, plus thousands at www.miamitodaynew.com and others who buy our enhanced e-edition — we pledge to focus on the relevant.
And whether in future years you review our news in print or seated on the floor with whatever supplants the iPad, we trust you'll find Miami Today still vital for its focus on your region and its economy.
To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.