Downtown Miami's Freedom Tower

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By: Lori Kahn

Visiting The Freedom Tower is akin to visiting a Miami time capsule. Located at 600 Biscayne Boulevard, the Mediterranean style tower is part of Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus. Built on the west side of Biscayne Boulevard, the Tower faces the AmericanAirlines Arena as well as Bayside Marketplace. Throughout its rich history, The Freedom Tower has had many tenants and has narrowly escaped destruction multiple times. Now housing the Miami Dade College Museum of Art + Design (MDC MOA+D), MDC MOA+D provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection, Freedom Tower archives, and newly established design collection.

History: 1925-2005

Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings, including Miami Book Fair International, The Center for Literature and Theatre, Miami International Film Festival, the Cuban Cinema Series, MDC Live Arts, Prometeo Theatre, and the Miami International Sculpture Park.

Since 2005, the Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College has served as the flagship venue for premier exhibitions and the administrative offices of MDC's Museum of Art + Design. Established as a formal "museum" in August of 2012 and with more than 17,000 square feet of exhibition space, the museum is known for its presentation of exhibitions by emerging artists, as well as major figures in modern, post-modern and contemporary art. The vision of the MDC Museum of Art + Design is to present world-renowned artists, support the vast community of local emerging and established artists, and serve as a platform to present exhibitions by MDC's many distinguished students, alumni and faculty while building a world-class collection of art.

The MDC Permanent Art Collection contains over 1900 works in all mediums and genres, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, film, installation and public sculpture. MDC's Permanent Collection is known for works by emerging artists, under-recognized artists, as well as major figures in the modern post-modern, and contemporary art. Among the greatest strengths in the collection are pieces within movements of Minimalism, Pop Art of the 60s & 70s, Conceptual Art and Contemporary Latin American Artists. MDC has presented numerous exhibitions from its collection such as The Influencers in 2014 and currently on view Forensic Architecture: True to Scale.

Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower

Today: A Towering Achievement In The Arts

The mission of MDC’s Museum of Art + Design is to encourage the appreciation and understanding of visual aesthetics through direct engagement with original works of art and design, and serves as a catalyst for the cultivation of creative dialog and diverse perspectives through the arts. While building and preserving its collections in trust for future generations, the museum is an accessible educational resource for students and faculty as well as the greater South Florida Community.

Visiting The Freedom Tower

Since 1925, the Mediterranean style tower has worn many hats: the headquarters for Miami's first newspaper, the symbol of a new life for refugees without a home and most recently a space for the community to come together and honor the love, creativity and passion of artists who have inspired us. The Freedom Tower's usage throughout its history is an inspiration, and its evolution as a facility reflects Miami's growth and personality throughout the years.

The Freedom Tower is easily accessible by public transportation, by bus or on the Omni Loop of the Metromover, with a stop on the same block. The surrounding area is the heart of Downtown Miami. The Miami Heat play in the FTX Arena right across the street, which also hosts world-class music concerts and tours. Also across the street is Bayside Marketplace, an open-air waterfront mall filled with restaurants as well as a marina, and just south of that is Bayfront Park. To the north of The Freedom Tower is the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts as well as Maurice A. Ferré Park. The recently revamped area has several new restaurants, including Miami Dade College Culinary Institute's crown jewel, Tuyo.

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