Illuminating History

Illuminating History

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MIAMI, FL (2011) – Mary Brickell was an urban visionary, and her contributions to the development of Miami are numerous. The Roads, originally called Brickell Hammock, was designed, platted, and developed by Mary Brickell in January 1922, completed just days before her death. She designed The Roads as a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with wide streets, median parkways, and roundabouts covered in Miami’s native lush vegetation.

Mary Brickell donated the streets, parkways, sidewalks, and electric lighting to the City of Miami in 1922. All of the neighborhood’s properties were sold in a single day on February 1st, 1923. Although the original intention was to provide Miami residents with affordable housing, the homes in the Roads were so popular that the area quickly became one of Miami most prestigious neighborhoods.

It is said that during the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Roads was the only inner city neighborhood in Florida that did not fall into the perils of urban decay, but instead maintained its quality. Today, many of The Roads’ residents are urban professional working in neighboring Downtown Miami and Brickell. 3rd Avenue, also known as Coral Way, is the principal artery of this neighborhood and consists of a four-lane boulevard separated by a wide median. Old-fashioned lampposts were a key characteristic of the neighborhood, but over time, had suffered tremendous damage. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District IV Lighting Engineer Edward Perez-Maspons worked with William Pino, P.E. from Municipal Lighting Systems, an MLS Group Company, to select and design a new lighting system.

The challenge of this lighting project was to maintain the historic look of the 1920’s, as well as account for the dense vegetation, meet current FDOT requirements, and incorporate the latest in efficient lighting technology. The new system consists of 22-ft. high old-fashioned, cast-aluminum lighting poles manufactured by Spring City Electrical Manufacturing Company in Spring City, PA.

As one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods, the Roads continues to attract residents looking for a walk-able, urban neighborhood with a sense of history and place.

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