History of Miami Circle at Icon Brickell
by Sep Niakan | April 30, 2012
This important archaeological site was discovered in 1998 inside a little more than two acres of property owned by developer Michael Baumann. Baumann bought the property located along the southern bank of the Miami River, where the river meets Biscayne Bay, for the price of $8 million. He planned to construct two high-rise condo towers on this property.
The condo project was halted after a 38-foot-diameter circular prehistoric structure was found in 1998 on the Baumann property. Radiocarbon dating on two artifacts from the site both dated to circa 100 A.D.
According to HistoryMiami, formerly known as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, the archaeological site's importance lies in the well-preserved evidence of the Tequesta’s architecture, trade patterns, as well as ceremonial practices.
The Tequesta is an American Indian tribe that settled in South Florida over 2,000 years ago. Explorer Juan Ponce de León first encountered this native North American tribe in 1513.
After much debate, the Miami-Dade County agreed on October 1, 1999 to buy the archeological site from Baumann for $26.7 million – more than three times the amount paid by Baumann on the property.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, in January 2009, designated the Miami Circle as a National Historic Landmark. This site became the 41st historic place that bears this National Historic Landmark distinction. On February 23, 2011, this national landmark was opened to the general public as a park. HistoryMiami manages this archeological site turned park.
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