March 29, 2009

Bacardi’s move worries preservationists

Preservationists say they wonder what will become of the historic buildings Bacardi USA will leave this year when the company moves to its new headquarters.

The Miami Herald reported Sunday that Bacardi has occupied its current office on Miami's Biscayne Boulevard since its departure from Cuba after the 1959 revolution on the island.

The mural-decorated buildings are widely considered some of the most architecturally significant structures of the 1960s in Miami.

Needless to say, there is great concern,'' said Ivan Rodriguez, former head of historic preservation for Miami-Dade County and member of an informal group of architects and preservationists exploring ways to safeguard the buildings. It's one of our major treasures.''

The company is moving this year to a new headquarters in Coral Gables, Fla. So far, the privately-held company has been mum on the future of its soon-to-be former home.

We're considering a variety of options, said Bacardi spokeswoman Patricia Neal. We appreciate the fact that people love our building. We love it, too.