Everything you need to know about Wynwood in Miami
Welcome to Miami! This is Wynwood, the creative soul of the Magic City.
Do you remember when you were a kid and got in trouble for writing on the walls? Well, here everything is allowed and celebrated with giant murals filled with vibrant colors. Even COVID can’t stop you from taking a walk or you can just look around from your car window. It’s artâ¦ as real as it gets.
Wynwood is a historic neighborhood north of downtown Miami in Dade County. It is divided by North 20th Street to the south, I-195 to the north, I-95 to the west, and the Florida East Coast Railway to the east.
And to think that this neighborhood, which was once a dreary warehouse, now has more than 70 art galleries, trendy restaurants, the hottest bars in town and, above all, ever-changing works of art painted on those ragged warehouse walls.
History of Wynwood
In 1917, Wynwood was purchased as farmland from the City of Miami by Josiah Chaille and Hugh Anderson. It quickly became a working-class neighborhood attracting commercial residents as well. the Miami the housing boom of the 1920s brought huge corporations like Coca Cola, which built a bottling plant in the area. National bakeries started their factories and the textile industry also jumped on the bandwagon.
In the 1950s, Wynwood became one of the largest clothing districts in the country, but as the area became more industrialized and other parts of Miami has become more suburban, most of its residents have migrated to other neighborhoods. According to Miami Historythis gave way to a Puerto Rican community that made Wynwood their home.
Little San Juan
So much so that they called it “Little San Juan” or “El Barrio” long before the famous “Little Havana”. The community center named after Puerto Rican educator and novelist Eugenio MarÃa de Hostos still exists. In 1974, Wynwood Park was also renamed Roberto Clemente Park after the Puerto Rican baseball player’s tragic death in 1972. Clemente died in a plane crash while trying to deliver aid to Nicaraguans after the earthquake of 1972 in Managua.
During the 1970s, the garment district of Wynwood flourished, attracting thousands of shoppers, many from South America. In a 1976 Miami Herald article, the headline reads “Wynwood: Latin Melting Pot” and speaks of the Cubans, Colombians, Haitians, Guatemalans and Dominicans who were in the majority at the time. Puerto Ricans, once the majority, in 1976 represented a third of the population.
Nick Ãlvarez, a resident at the time, told the Miami Herald that he sent his children to Puerto Rico to be raised in a non-violent environment. He remembered a quiet Wynwood years ago, but with industrial growth, Interstate 95 and train lines, Little San Juan became a local thieves’ paradise.
By the late 1970s, Wynwood had become dangerous, the streets were filled with homeless people, gang conflicts were breaking out, and the drug trade was heavy. The park that was once the pride of Puerto Ricans was now a hangout for crack dealers.
Problems with Latin American economies, rising crime, and the riots of the 1980s affected small businesses.
The 1990s: ‘Violence, Displacement and Opportunity’
In a 1991 Miami Herald article, the riots and looting in Wynwood made headlines. In December 1990, the streets were packed with supporters of Leonardo Mercado, a crack dealer from “El Barrio”, who came out to protest when 6 police officers involved in his death were acquitted.
In the late 1990s, when the Design District the neighborhood to the north became more expensive and Wynwood’s rents remained low as local artists and developers took interest. They saw the opportunity presented by low warehouse costs and began to establish their galleries and art spaces in this neighborhood.
Iconic artists like the late African-American painter Purvis Young of the neighbor above the city; who used what he found on the streets for his murals and Cuban sculptor Tony LÃ³pez; who designed the Holocaust Memorial in miami beachhad already been working on their craft at Wynwood for years.
It wasn’t long before it became known as an arts district, attracting millions of visitors fascinated by the eye-catching murals.
The whole neighborhood was a free open-air art museum.
2000s: gentrification and development
According to Oxford Dictionary, gentrification is the process of urban and social rehabilitation of a depressed or deteriorated urban area, which causes a gradual displacement of the impoverished inhabitants of the neighborhood by others of a higher social and economic level.
Wynwood has changed several times since its inception. Now, aside from art galleries, restaurants, and clubs, there are buildings everywhere that seem to be being built at a rapid pace, leaving no empty corner untouched. Added to this are unattainable prices for the locals, the vast majority of whom have closed their small businesses or taken advantage of the construction boom in the region to resell their goods at âgoodâ prices.
According to the next miamia site dedicated to local real estate, there are currently more than 20 building construction projects for residences and luxury hotels until 2023.
Wynwood walls: an explosion of colors
In 2009, visionary and urban developer Tony Goldman, who relaunched New York’s Soho and south beach, saw an opportunity to create a canvas for street art. With art dealer Jeffrey Deitch, he created Wynwood Walls using these battered warehouse walls that became home to mural masterpieces.
There is always something new to discover in Wynwood, once a month the galleries open their doors to show their best exhibits, the walls are painted with a variety of bright colors and people walk slowly along the Wynwood Art Walk, which takes place every second Saturday of every month. It’s such a cool vibe. You’ll feel like you’re inside a life-size painting! Your inner child will have a nerdy smile.
Every wall has a story, some are raw, some are emotional, some are joyful, some showcase pop culture, but they all have one thing in common. They fill your soul with colors and colors give hope and hope brings smiles… And that’s exactly what you’ll be doing after a walk in Wynwood.
Moreover, there are so many ‘insta worthy places’â¦ You will leave inspired believe me! So go on now, explore before the whole place becomes condos.