OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – The City of Opalocka mayor and commission have approved the restoration of the Opa-locka Company Administration Building, the city’s unique Moorish Revival icon.
The restoration is expected to be ﬁnished by Fall of 2023, ofﬁcials said.
Completed in late Summer of 1926, the three-story building was the landmark attraction for drawing buyers to Opa-locka from the Northeast during Florida’s Land Boom of the 1920s.
Designed by Opa-locka chief architect Bernhardt Muller for developer and famed American aviator Glenn
Curtiss of The Opa-locka Company, the architectural style is deﬁned as Moorish Revival, a composite of Persian, Arabic and Orientalist elements.
It has been occupied as a leasing ofﬁce, mayor’s residence, a ﬁlm studio, a chamber of commerce, an archeological museum, and prior to its vacancy, as city hall.
The restoration will require new electrical, plumbing, rooﬁng, interior ﬁnishing, exterior facade repair, as well as ADA-accessible improvements, ofﬁcials said. The project is expected to cost $1,452,330.00, ﬁnanced largely from grants and a portion from the city’s general fund.
For the ﬁrst time in decades, the Opalocka Company Administration Building will be repurposed as a cultural event and community center.
Restoration of the structure began in 2015 with a signiﬁcant amount of work having been started, including the removal of debris, replacement of windows, and resurfacing of roofs. Due to ﬁnancial complications and changes in administration the project was halted indeﬁnitely.
“OPA-LOCKA HAS BEEN AWARDED DESIGNATIONS INCLUDING BEING A MAIN STREET AMERICA COMMUNITY, TREE CITY USA, A BIRD SANCTUARY CITY AND IS A MEMBER OF THE FLORIDA LEAGUE OF CITIES.”
Diamanti Construction and Development will serve as contractor, with the architecture ﬁrm MCHarry and Associates overseeing the project along with city ofﬁcials.
Opa-locka, founded on May 14, 1926 by Curtiss, who earned the nickname “Father of Naval Aviation,” is one of Miami-Dade County’s oldest and most unique historic cities rich in architecture, industry, and culture, and continues as a diverse residential and business community stretching 4.5 square miles with a population of 16,500.
The city is a central hub of South Florida with access to major transportation corridors including the neighboring Opa-locka Executive and Miami International Airports, as well as higher education institutions including St. Thomas, Florida Memorial and Barry universities and Miami-Dade College.
Opa-locka has been awarded designations including being a Main Street America community, Tree City USA, a Bird Sanctuary City and is a member of the Florida League of Cities.
The city has four parks, an historic Tri-Rail station connecting to the larger public transit system, and the largest collection of historic Moorish Revival architecture in the country. Visit opalockafl.gov.