Built in 1925 by the prestigious architectural firm of Schultze & Weaver as the headquarters and printing facility of the Miami Daily News and Metropolis, the Freedom Tower acquired its present name after serving as the Cuban Refugee Center between 1962 and 1974 when it became a symbol of freedom for the thousands that went through its doors escaping Castro’s oppressive regime. This historic structure is of Mediterranean Revival Style and has a tower fashioned after the Giralda Bell Tower in Sevilla, Spain. RJHA was commissioned in 1987 by then owner Zaminco International to conduct extensive restoration work to the rapidly decaying landmark, repairing and strengthening structural supports, replacing windows with historically accurate units, and removing layers of previously unsympathetic renovations. Hundreds of historic architectural features such as balusters, finials, obelisks and the mural of the Old World was restored and/or replaced. The $16M restoration / renovation converted the Tower into twelve floors of adaptive space including an elegant 550 seat banquet room and two story private club.
AIA Miami Chapter Award of Merit for Design, AIA Florida Award for Excellence in Architecture (Built Category), Commercial Renovator Magazine Commercial Renovator of the Year, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Outstanding Preservation Project, AIA Miami Chapter Award of Merit for Design