Lincoln Road is a landmark in Miami. It stretches from Collins Avenue to Bay Road in Miami Beach. Once it was paved in the 1920s, it was christened the 5th Avenue of the South. Following the national trend, in 1962 it became a pedestrian mall: cars were not allowed. Popularity for the outdoor space dipped in the 1970s as a result of numerous economic factors until the mid-80s, when it picked up again. Lincoln Road cemented its status as a destination in the 90s, and it remains at critical mass today, with plans for a revamp to maintain the appeal revealed within the last few weeks.
New York landscape architect James Corner, with Field Operations, will lead the way. The goal is to renew the energy of the outdoor mall space from when it was designed by mid-century starchitect Morris Lapidus, who brought glamour to the Miami landmarks Fountainbleau and Eden Roc. There will be bike lanes, lush greenery, and revitalized storefronts along the north- and south-lying lanes of Lincoln Road.
Issues such as trash retrieval and parking for service vehicles will need to be addressed as the plan takes shape, providing for sidewalk expansion and a wide bike lane. Additional café tables will be added and a water taxi port will be built on the stretch to Biscayne Bay.
A reflecting pool may be added, as well as dozens of new trees in keeping with the open air theme. All these changes are being brought about with much deliberation. The ultimate goal of the city is to balance the residents, tourists, and businesses. Residents want to enjoy their neighborhood without being overrun by tourists. Tourists want their unique needs met, including a play area for restless children that the evolution of the Euclid Oval will provide. Businesses want more storefronts and higher visibility.
Lincoln Road will remain a destination in Miami and the revamps will only enhance its reputation. Perhaps this will bring a new chapter to the outdoor mall’s fabled history.
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Source: MiamiHerald.com, “Final plan for Lincoln Road makeover to be revealed Tuesday.” JOEY FLECHAS 29 September 2015.