The Coconut Grove waterfront is fortunate to have a rich history as the former site of the Pan Am Terminal. The plan’s urban design strategy celebrates this history, enhancing the role of the iconic terminal building, increases its civic prominence, and generating source of pride for the community. Drawing on design cues from the site’s history, the plan re-establishes the sense of grandeur from the days of the Flying Clipper Ships.
The Master Plan (Figure 57) redesigns the historic circle in front of City Hall to provide a grand ceremonial
entrance to City Hall. By removing parking from the entry way and transforming the paving
from asphalt to a multifunctional porous surface, City Hall Plaza will now be suitable for both formal gatherings and parking. The waterfront master plan repositions the historic building once again, with public uses and an urban design scheme that recalls traces of the site’s origins as an aviation center.
A new public pier (Figure 58) will be built extending from the area currently occupied by the Chart House Restaurant. The pier will become the new home for the shrimp boats as well as charter excursion
boats. With a direct link through the park from Center Grove, this pier will be a destination for residents and visitors by strengthening linkages to the water and providing outstanding views of downtown Miami and the Bay. Scotty’s Landing Restaurant remains in its current location to continue serving as a staple on the waterfront. The Chart House Restaurant will be redesigned to take better advantage of its location and maximize views by providing outdoor dining near the public pier.
A new Cultural and Community Center both anchors Regatta Park and frames Pan American Drive, leading to the historic City Hall. The landscape design recalls the original terminal design, by reflecting
the diagonal angle of the three historic hangers in a paved pathway extending from the Cultural Center toward Center Grove. Together, the new diagonal pathway completes the form of an airplane’s wings that originally underpinned the site’s layout. With the new Cultural Center that fronts on Pan American Drive, a public art strategy, and paving design that differentiates City Hall Plaza, the civic core of the Coconut Grove waterfront will once again be a place for the public to convene.
A parking garage wrapped with community-serving retail and a contemporary facade lines the northern side of Pan American Drive. A moderate amount of new street-level retail space in this location is intended to enhance revenues for the City as well as provide services to the community and boaters. Envisioned as a three story structure, the floors above retail could be designed to accommodate much needed office space. The garage consolidates existing surface lots that absorb valuable waterfront land and is screened by the retail uses and a green roof. At three levels above ground, the height of the structure consciously falls shy of existing Grove Key buildings, protecting valuable waterfront views.