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First Miracle Mile, now Lincoln Road? It seems all of Miami's classic retail streets are getting makeovers to some extent. The Next Miami has revealed Lincoln Road's master plan proposal by landscape designers James Corner Field Operations, the company that also designed New York's High Line. There will be a public meeting on June 24th to go over the plans, and everything should be finalized in August.
What should we expect? For starters, they want to make Lincoln Road a district that stretches from one side of the island to the next. Second, cafes will all have uniform umbrellas and uniform rows of tables in designated cafe zones to eliminate clutter, and they plan to redo all the paving, taking away the colorful red and beige tinted concrete and instead replacing it with textured, saw-cut concrete. (Don't worry, the black and white central walkways, an original feature by Morris Lapidus, will be staying).
What is nice is that they want to make the central public spaces, where all the fountains and greenery are, more accessible. Rarely do you see clusters of people there, mostly because the cafes kind of block it off with their outdoor seating. They want to make the planter walls higher, thinner, and angular for a cool effect (and so you can't step on them), and they want to add actual public seating around the planters because there really is nowhere to sit on Lincoln Road unless you're eating. Freestanding and folly furniture (think: those cool metal chairs at the PAMM museum) will be added, and the lighting situation will be significantly improved. Cool features would be added, like a walkable water feature, more greenery, an outdoor art and sculpture gallery, a water lounge, and an outdoor market, to name a few.
Funnily enough, the first draft of the plan revealed that shopping is one of the last reasons people like to go to Lincoln Road, according to participants in a public meeting back in April. In a survey sent out to the public, owners and tenants, 22 percent stated that they'd like to see more local retail boutiques, and another 22 percent said they'd like to see more open air markets.
An improvement to Lincoln Road is much, much needed, but like Curbed Miami states, it might be trying to mimic the 1111 block a little bit too much, stripping the road (which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places) of all its Morris Lapidus glory (and architecturally historic details). On the other hand, how can Lincoln Road stay relevant in a city where it feels like a new shopping mall pops up every month, without altering a few things?