By Jessica Sanchez and Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporters
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The city of Miami Beach held a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling the completed restoration of the historic 28 Street Obelisk Wednesday, September 25th. Originally constructed in 1926, it is an example of the Mediterranean Revival style of architecture constructed in Miami Beach during the 1920s.
Jimmy Morales, the City Manager of Miami Beach shared after the event, “This monument, built in 1926, was previously used as a wastewater treatment plant and thanks to the Department of State’s Historical Resources Division they awarded us with a grant to fully restore it.”
Formerly a wastewater pump station for the city, this piece of public works infrastructure, was decommissioned in 1976 and replaced with a new pump station just north east of the original facility.
In November 2016, the city was awarded a matching grant from the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources to restore the historic obelisk under the guidance of Historic Preservation Architect William B. Medellin.
While some equipment was beyond salvage, the historic pump room was restored to resemble its original state, including the original switch gear cabinets by General Electric, refinished in ashy gray.
The project consisted of excavation of the buried exterior steps, interior structural repairs, wood window and door restorations, exhaustive concrete and stucco repairs and restoration of the original 60 feet diameter plaza around the obelisk’s octagonal base building, following the original design form.
Notable ornamental features include three artfully restored trefoil fountains on the east, west and south sides of the base building as well as new ornamental railings with a faithfully replicated wood cap.