Mysterious Miami landmark near Everglades removed
Miami has lost one of its most mysterious landmarks: a pair of 70-foot-tall concrete arches near the Everglades linked to several murders and a failed real estate development.
Driving the news: The old intertwined arches, located along the Tamiami Trail on land owned by the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, were removed earlier this month without a trace, Miami historian and Islandia Journal publisher Jason Katz wrote in a recent blog.
Why it matters: The arches are part of Miami's hidden history, as Katz calls it, and their mystique has enthralled Miamians for decades.
- "Anything that is tall and out of the ordinary on a flat road in South Florida that isn't a high-rise condominium is fascinating to me, and I think captures the imagination of the people who live down here," he told Axios.
Flashback: The arches, built around 1962, were designed as the gateway to a planned industrial park that never happened due to a lack of money.
- Locals used the vacant lot for target shooting, fishing and drinking with friends, Katz said.
The intrigue: The arches would later be known for their connections to Miami's underbelly — and even the great beyond.
- In 1976, notorious serial killer Samuel Little murdered 25-year-old Miriam Chapman "in the shadow" of the arches, according to the Miami Herald. Her body was discovered along a nearby canal.
- In 1979, a Hialeah man who claimed he was abducted by aliens regained consciousness next to the arches, Katz wrote.
- In 1986, a pair of armed robbers began terrorizing visitors to the rural hangout, accused by police of killing two people and nearly shooting a third to death, according to Herald archives.
The latest: Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Talbert Cypress told Axios in a statement that the tribe removed the arches to store construction equipment there for a project on the reservation, and in anticipation of future possible projects on the vacant lot.
- Cypress noted the arches were on the land when the tribe purchased it.
- "Not exactly sure why they weren't removed then, but I'm a guy that likes to get things done," he wrote.
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