History Happened Here

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Miami Springs

Miami-Dade County

Year Founded: 1926Founded by: Glenn Hammond CurtissPreviously known as: Country Club Estates

History

The City of Miami Springs was founded as Country Club Estates in 1926 by aviation pioneer, inventor and land developer Glenn H. Curtiss. The 2.9-square-mile, triangular-shaped city grew along with aviation and is a favorite community for people employed by airlines and related businesses. As the airline industry at Miami International Airport expanded, it became a major factor in the economic growth of the town, which in 1962 became the City of Miami Springs. Since that time, economic growth has remained fairly stable.

A City with village charm located “at the heart of it all,” Miami Springs is bordered by Miami International Airport, the City of Hialeah, the Village of Virginia Gardens and the Town of Medley. As the City has become engulfed by the growth of Miami-Dade County, it has remained a desirable mostly single-family dwelling “bedroom community” because of its small-town flavor, great location and family-oriented civic amenities, including parks, racquetball and tennis courts, golf course, municipal pool and community center and theater.

Miami Springs is a great place to call home by our 13,750 racially and ethnically diverse residents. It is a small and one-of-a-kind historic town surrounded by the excitement of a large metropolitan area. It’s a place where you know your neighbors, the streets are safe, schools are conveniently located, and houses of worship are numerous.

The historic downtown area of professional offices, restaurants and small retail stores centers around park-like Curtiss Circle and its distinctive gazebo, which have been the hub of the city since inception. Miami Springs City Hall, Police Department and Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue personnel are located at 201 Westward Drive, a few blocks away.

A close-knit community for generations, many city employees grew up here. Most still live in the Springs and raise families in the area because of its child-friendly atmosphere and recreational opportunities. Public safety has always been a priority of city leaders and that has led to minimal crime statistics. Miami Springs has been certified as a Tree City USA since 1993, and was recently named a “Preserve America City” in recognition of its commitments to caring for its exceptional environment, history and quality of life.

The Mayor and Council Members attend most community events, remain approachable to residents and business owners, and pride themselves on keeping informed with what residents want and providing the best for everyone in “Beautiful Miami Springs.” Although the community enjoys a lifestyle reminiscent of an earlier time, it has not lost sight of the future. As we move forward, strategic plans focus on economic development and making our city an even better place to live.

Story of City's Founding

“Country Club Estates” was carved out of swamp and grasslands by aviation pioneer, inventor and developer Glenn Curtiss during the famous “land boom” of the 1920’s on land south of the Miami River Canal, an area that had been used as a training "bombing range" for pilots during World War I. The development was centered around a golf course, and conveniently adjacent to several airports and his flight training school. Curtiss designed Country Club Estates in a distinctive Pueblo Mission Revival style as home to his immediate and extended family and close business associates, attracting new residents from all walks of life. It was also the site of the “Miami Springs Hialeah First State Bank”, and a frequent stopping place for commercial river traffic and Seminole Tribe members en route from Lake Okeechobee to Miami. Curtiss lived and worked here, continuing aviation-related pursuits and patenting transportation improvements until his death in 1930. Since fresh water was a crucial factor in largely brackish Dade County, he hired engineers who found an inexhaustible supply of pure water under the golf course, which still supplies the Miami area. In 1930, the name was changed to Miami Springs in recognition of this. The 216 historic acres of the Miami Springs Golf Course remain to this day as a tribute to our past. They impart an unimpeded vista of tropical foliage and serenity to our City, a sense of heritage and pride to our residents, and an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of legends for the thousands of golfers who play there every year. It is the oldest municipal golf course in Florida and was home to the PGA Miami Open from 1925 to 1955.

Little Known Facts

Historical Sites

Name: Millard-McCarty House
Location: 424 Hunting Lodge Drive
Historical Significance: Exemplifying the best of Glenn Curtiss's vision for Country Club Estates, this charming home with its evocative and lush tropical landscaping features a lovely tiled central courtyard, a round fountain, a separate two story garage apartment and a rear porch with five screened arches.

Name: Glenn Hammond Curtiss Mansion and Gardens
Location: 500 Deer Run
Historical Significance: Home to aviation pioneer and promoter, flying ace, prolific inventor, developer, "Father of Naval Aviation" and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Glenn Hammond Curtiss, this recently restored 1925 home is significant both for the achievements of Curtiss and for its unique architecture.

Name: The Hunting Lodge
Location: 281 Glendale Drive
Historical Significance: This log cabin is considered the first structure built in Miami Springs, and to date has been used as a clubhouse for the Miami Gun Club, the Archery Golf Club, a schoolhouse, a perfume factory an airplane factory and a private residence.

Name: Miami Springs Golf Course
Location: 650 Curtiss Parkway
Historical Significance: Country Club Estates began as a town that was built around a golf course, which was home to the Greater Miami Open from 1925 to 1955 and was the first golf course in Florida (and maybe in the South) to admit Black players.

Name: Clune-Stadnik Building
Location: 45 Curtiss Parkway
Historical Significance: In continuous use since 1925, this commercial building is the only surviving structure from the original “civic center” envisioned by Glenn Curtiss.

Name: The Woman’s Club
Location: 200 Westward Drive
Historical Significance: This building located in the heart of our community has been home to the Miami Springs Woman’s Club since it was built in 1949, and for many years was also the town's library.

Name: The Osceola Apartment Hotel
Location: 200 Azure Way
Historical Significance: The only apartment house built by the Curtiss-Bright Company, "Azure Villas" was promoted as “one of the best appointed apartment houses in the state.” and was also the gathering point and shelter for many of townspeople during the disastrous September 1926 hurricane.

Name: G. Carl Adams House
Location: 31 Hunting Lodge Court
Historical Significance: Home to the half-brother of Glenn Curtiss, this picturesque and rambling Pueblo Revival villa was the second largest in the community at the time of its construction.

Name: Lua Curtiss House No. 2
Location: 150 Hunting Lodge Drive
Historical Significance: This is the second home Glenn Curtiss built for his mother. An outstanding example of Pueblo Revival architecture, a photograph of its attractive exterior was featured in the first real estate promotional brochures for Country Club Estates.

Name: The H.H. Highhouse House
Location: 160 Sunset Way
Historical Significance: This lovely little home was constructed in the Pueblo Revival style as seen in other early buildings in Country Club Estates, and is an excellent example of the housing being built at the time for workers and retirees.

Name: incoming, Miami River Canal
Location: Warren Pony Swing Bridge
Historical Significance: To replace a “three pontoon barge bridge” that connected Country Club Estates and Hialeah, the bobtail Warren Pony Swing Bridge was donated in 1923 to Dade County by city founder Glenn Curtiss, and is the only one of its kind in Florida.

Name: outgoing, Miami River Canal
Location: Parker Vertical Lift Bridge
Historical Significance: Originally sited in 1927 downstream at 36th Street, this imposing twin-towered vertical lift bridge was floated upriver on a barge to this location in 1954 to carry an increasing volume of outgoing traffic across the Miami (C-6) River Canal.

Name: 122 Pinecrest Drive
Location: Carey-Dant House
Historical Significance: On a somewhat grander scale than many homes being built in Florida at the time, this stunning Mediterranean Revival residence was one of the first four homes in the community.

Name: 201 Curtiss Parkway
Location: Hotel Country Club (Fair Havens Center)
Historical Significance: Originally built as a luxurious hotel to anchor the development of Country Club Estates and to entice prospective buyers, this remarkable architectural landmark was converted to a health spa by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, was used as a military recuperative facility during World War II and now supports our community as a home for the elderly.

Name: 85 Deer Run
Location: Lua Curtiss House No. 1
Historical Significance: One of the original four homes in Country Club Estates, Curtiss built this house especially for his mother, who had decided that she needed to live closer to her sons. She resided in it for a year, before moving to more upscale quarters a short distance away.

Key Historical Events

Event: Incorporation of the town as Country Club Estates
Event Description:

The town was incorporated as Country Club Estates on August 23, 1926 with 74 of the 79 “duly qualified registered voters” present.

Event: Capture and Arrest of the Original “Cocaine Cowboy”
Event Description:

The Miami Springs Police Department, with excellent investigative and undercover work and some last-minute assistance from Metro-Dade, captured Mario Escandar, the original “Cocaine Cowboy” and drug kingpin, and arrested him on two counts of conspiracy to commit murder.

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