On the day that my husband and I moved out of our first home, I walked through each room, lingering to recall the memories that filled the now-empty space. We closed on the house the day before our wedding. It was where we celebrated my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary, my father’s last birthday before he died, and the birth of our two children.
We were moving to a new house with a big back yard for the kids to play in.
Still, I cried before locking the door one last time. Moving always seems to be bittersweet.
So it is with The Miami Herald.
In two months, we’ll be in a new $50 million headquarters in Doral. The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald will operate in a state-of-the-art newsroom that points us solidly into the future.
Yet we paused to indulge in the sentimentality of the past as 1,000 former and current employees gathered to toast to the 50 years of memories enshrined within the boxy walls of One Herald Plaza.
It was the building we all loved to hate — until the day it was sold in 2011. Employees complained that it was always too hot — or too cold. The elevators were lethargic. And what was that black soot that occasionally oozed out of the air-conditioning vents?
What defines us
Amid the tight hugs, tears and laughter among former colleagues who hadn’t seen each other in years, it was clear that what defines The Miami Herald is not the building but the people who work here.
It was here that Gene Miller, twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize for freeing three wrongly convicted men, would walk into the newsroom each morning, the day’s paper tucked under his arm, and salute a reporter with “Good copy, champion!”
It was here that Jacqueline Charles, a high school intern who has blossomed into the most respected reporter in Haiti, got the first inkling of the devastating scope of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
It is from this building that Carol Marbin Miller continues to make sure that those who don’t have a voice are heard, from the elderly and frail to the young and disabled.
Over the past 50 years, we have stood in a champagne-soaked newsroom to celebrate nearly all of our 20 Pulitzer Prizes — the highest honor in journalism.
Yes, we are moving. The white packing boxes are stacked on desks and floors as we sift through years of stuff, deciding what to take and what to toss.
This building is destined to come down to make way for a resort planned by the new property owner, The Genting Group. By then, we will be breaking in our new home in Doral — the third major move in the company’s 110-year history.
The most important thing we are taking is the one thing that can’t be stowed away in a box — our employees and their passion and commitment to the work that we do.