Bayfront Park Management Trust is a limited agency and instrumentality of the City of Miami. The Trust manages two downtown waterfront parks:
Redesigned in the early 1980s by Isamu Noguchi*, Bayfront Park is a 32-acre site located in the epicenter of downtown Miami on Biscayne Bay. It is bounded on the north by Bayside Marketplace (an open-air festival style mall that attracts 12 million people per year), on the south by InterContinental Hotel, and on the west by Biscayne Boulevard (downtown Miami’s “main street”).
Bicentennial Park, a 29-acre site also located on Biscayne Bay, is seven blocks north of Bayfront Park.
Bayfront Park’s 32 acres of lush greenery includes a small sand beach, tropical rock garden and waterfall (dating back to 1926), playground, fountain, Light Tower, and many different monuments**. Special event facilities within the park include Klipsch Amphitheater and Tina Hills Pavilion. Klipsch Amphitheater is managed and operated by Live Nation, the largest worldwide promoter of live music. It reopened in August of 2009 after a multi-million dollar renovation that included permanent reserved seats; new, picturesque sightlines to Biscayne Bay; a new superior roof structure; state-of-the-art production capabilities; VIP boxes with table service and VIP parking; permanent, new restroom facilities; expanded concessions, and more. The Tina Hills Pavilion is available for smaller concerts, receptions, corporate events, and press conferences. The park recently underwent a renovation of its baywalk. The baywalk runs along the edge of Biscayne Bay throughout the park and continues to Bayside Marketplace. Renovations include tree plantings, benches, removable chairs, bike racks, trash containers, pavers, and a re-working of a portion of the irrigation system. The renovations were intended to soften the edges of the park and create a more pedestrian friendly environment.
Bicentennial Park is currently undergoing a major transformation. Two institutions, the Miami Science Museum and the Miami Art Museum, are building new facilities and the City of Miami has embarked on a renovation of the remaining 21 acres, to include a Baywalk and other waterfront amenities.
Events hosted by the Trust are varied, ranging from popular music concerts; ethnic festivals; annual, free holiday events; charitable walks and runs; and exercise classes.
*Recognized as the 20th century’s foremost American sculptor, Isamu Noguchi’s innovative parks, plazas, playgrounds, fountains, gardens, and public pieces are located in many different countries and celebrated around the world. Bayfront Park contains three significant Noguchi sculptures: the Slide Mantra, the Challenger Memorial and the Light Tower. The Slide Mantra is a 10 foot high, white carrara marble slide weighing 29 tons. This slide demonstrates Noguchi’s long held belief that play could lead to a new appreciation of sculpture. The Challenger Memorial is a white, metal pipe tower that rises approximately 100 feet out of the park’s southwest corner. The sculpture is dedicated to the memory of the Challenger astronauts. The Light Tower is representative of Noguchi’s earlier work with monumental shapes and their interaction with light. The forty foot, aubergine tower makes references to Japanese lanterns and the full moon over Miami.
**Monuments in Bayfront Park include the Challenger Memorial, a World War II Veterans’ Memorial, Mildred and Claude Pepper Fountain, statues of Claude Pepper, Christopher Columbus, and Julia Tuttle, and the Centennial Time Capsule.
The Bayfront Park Management Trust was created in 1987, by the Miami City Commission, to manage Bayfront Park. As of 1994, the Trust also manages Bicentennial Park. The Trust is comprised of a nine (9) member board appointed by the Miami City Commission. One member is an elected official of the City of Miami.