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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Coral Gables in Miami-Dade County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

U of M Opened Here

 
 
U of M Opened Here Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, June 28, 2014
1. U of M Opened Here Marker
Inscription. On this site, in an unfinished building originally intended for a hotel, the University of Miami registered its first students on October 15, 1926. It was twenty years before the university was able to begin the move to the site originally designated for it and given by George E. Merrick, which forms part of the present campus. The old “Cardboard College” which stood here was used until 1967, and then demolished.
 
Erected 1969 by The Historical Association of Southern Florida.
 
Location. 25° 44.433′ N, 80° 15.902′ W. Marker is in Coral Gables, Florida, in Miami-Dade County. Marker is at the intersection of University Drive and Camilo Avenue, on the right when traveling south on University Drive. Touch for map. Marker is located in a parking lot of the Coral Gables War Memorial Youth Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 405 University Drive, Miami FL 33134, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Edgar Merrick (approx. 0.6 miles away); George E. Merrick (approx. 0.6 miles away); Venetian Pool (approx. 0.6 miles away); Coral Gables Miracle Mile (approx. 0.6
U of M Opened Here Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, June 28, 2014
2. U of M Opened Here Marker
miles away); Ruth Bryan Owen Waterway Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Coral Gables Merrick House (approx. 0.8 miles away); Site of Packing House of Coral Gables Plantation (approx. 0.8 miles away); Biltmore Hotel (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coral Gables.
 
Regarding U of M Opened Here. The historic marker is located at the site of the Anastasia building, the first university building, now demolished. The Anastasia Building served as the home for administrative offices and classrooms of the University of Miami through the late 1960's. After the devastating hurricane of 1926 passed over South Florida, University officials knew that they would never be able to finish the Merrick Building and open on time. They then set their sites on the Anastasia Building, which was originally planned as a hotel but construction had been halted for lack of funds. The University leased the building and quickly installed room dividers to make the building function as a school. The building thus became known as the "Cardboard College."
 
Categories. Education
 
Aerial View of North Campus image. Click for full size.
University of Miami Legacy photo, Richter Library, 1935
3. Aerial View of North Campus
Due to financial set-backs, construction of the Merrick building was halted in mid-1926. To open on time, the founders turned to a partially completed hotel, the Anastasia (foreground) and in 1939 to its sister building across LeJeune Road, the San Sebastian (upper center). The University operated from these buildings until the Memorial classroom building was completed in 1946.
Anastasia Building - first University of Miami building image. Click for full size.
University of Miami Legacy photo, Richter Library, 1942
4. Anastasia Building - first University of Miami building
Pictured is a view of the Anastasia Building after the addition of the coffin tower, the uppermost cap of the rounded section of the building. This rotunda was first used by the RAF cadets for classes in air navigation. A camera mounted in the ceiling directed images onto the floor. The cadets, seated a floor above, watched the simulated flights over European targets. The Drama Department took over the area in 1946 for a ring theater. To form the theater, a parachute was hung from the ceiling and seats were added around the stage. The concept of a theater in the round was transferred to the new campus when the Ring Theater was built in 1951.
Coral Gables War Memorial Youth Center image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, June 28, 2014
5. Coral Gables War Memorial Youth Center
The Youth Center now stands where the University of Miami began in 1926.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 29, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. This page has been viewed 189 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 29, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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