Letters to the Editor

Miami’s new wonder?

The Eiffel Tower was mocked when it was built. So was the Sydney Opera House. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis had folks scratching their heads, too. Certainly, many iconic structures that dot skylines around the world seemed like overpriced follies when they were envisioned.

SkyRise Miami — the project that Miami-Dade commissioners agreed to spend $9 million to construct — could be viewed as one more brilliant architectural work that residents will, in turn, vocally reject, grudgingly accept and, finally, lovingly embrace. Or not.

It remains to be seen whether a structure such as this has any business being built in Miami or elsewhere. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, Gateway Arch in St. Louis or the Sydney Opera House, SkyRise Miami is not architecturally innovative, historically significant or culturally functional.

Greater Miami has iconic structures: the Triple A, the Freedom Tower, the buildings in the Art Deco district. And past beauties don’t necessarily preclude new wonders, of course. But one must ask this question: Even if Miami needs a new iconic structure, what makes commissioners so certain that this is the structure we need — so certain that they’re willing to spend $9 million taxpayer dollars?

Robert LaVohn, Miami