Ahdriana Amandi: Miami Springs 2021

CC BY 4.0

Student Bio

My name is Ahdriana Amandi and I am a Psychology Major at Florida International University and its Honor’s College. Although my professional goals are to either become a College Professor or to pursue entrepreneurship, my first loves and passions are History and Art, and growing up in Miami has given me the chance to experience and enjoy both first-handedly.

Geography

Formally known as the Country Club Estates, Miami Springs sits on the South side of Okeechobee road, nestled north the Miami Airport and south of the city of Hialeah. It is a small rural community that is characterized by its incredible and abundant history, as well as it’s small-town feel. This triangle-shaped neighborhood is extremely child-friendly and has so many services available to its citizens and once visiting, you will understand why so many people choose to make this neighborhood their home.

History

Glenn Hammond Curtis is an individual who could have an entire project dedicated to his life. He was a bicycle shop owner, a racer, and he even became known as the fastest man on Earth when in 1907 he drove one of his company’s motorcycles at 136 miles per hour in Ormond Beach, Florida (Crouch, 2020). This inventor/pioneer of bicycles, vehicles, motorcycles and aviation eventually went on to become the founder of Miami Springs and the co-founder of Hialeah. It was founded in 1926 and by 1930 there were 400 people living in the neighborhood.

It was a planned community, and everything within the neighborhood focused on the golf course that was built at the same time as the community (a very similar history to Coral Gables and the Biltmore Hotel). As mentioned earlier, its original name was Country Club Estates, but its nickname was “Miami Springs” because of the natural springs that existed during its inception. Due to construction, the springs were eventually destroyed, but name stuck (Viva500). Curtiss built his home in the neighborhood and his family such as his brother-in-law and mother also lived in the community.

Demographics

According to the 2019 Census information, 14,375 people live within the small neighborhood of Miami Springs. Within that population, 76% of those citizens are white Hispanics, 19% are non-white Hispanics, and the remaining 5% are other ethnicities, meaning that the large majority of Miami Springs’ residents are white Latinos. Cubans make up the highest percentage of Latinos in the area, and with 53 percent of the population being foreign-born, 78 percent of people have their citizenship. (“DataUSA: Miami Springs”, N.d.)

Image Retrieved on https://datausa.io/

The average age of a Springs’ citizen is 53 years old, meaning that many of the citizens are older individuals. Miami Springs’ residents also have a Median Income of 59k a year, which is much higher than similar neighborhoods around it, and higher than Miami-Dade’s average income of 44k a year. The average salary in Men comes in at about $62,000 a year, which is 20,000 thousand dollars higher than the average women’s income (46,000). Citizens with a higher income live in the northern part of Miami Springs.

The most common jobs are office and administrative job positions, but there are a plethora of occupations that people have. It seems that many of these people do not work in Miami Springs though, and their average commute is 24 minutes, which is close to the National average. 

The median property value in Miami springs sits at $380,000, and the values are continuing to increase and are much more valuable than other neighborhoods (Virginia Springs’ median property value is $297k, and properties closer to the airport sit at around 224k.) Homeownership, however, is 56.2%- meaning that only half of the population own their properties, but that number is increasing. Something particularly interesting is that 70 percent of the population pay taxes that are much larger than the national average, coming in at around $3,000 each year.

Victoria Amandi. Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

Biography of Victoria, a Miami Springs resident

Born and raised in Miami, Victoria Amandi is a 9 year-old who lives in Miami Springs with her Mom, Dad, little brother, and dog, Cookie.

Ahdri: What is your favorite place in Miami Springs?

Victoria: I love Curtiss Parkway. It is so peaceful, and I love being able to skateboard there with my friends. I also love seeing the bridges, they are really cool and unique.

Ahdri: What is your least favorite thing about the city?

Victoria: It’s really boring and I usually have to go somewhere else to find new things to do. Because it’s so small you can get bored of everything!

Landmarks

The Hunting Lodge, 281 Glendale drive

When visiting this landmark, it sticks out from many of the other places I visited. Unlike the rest of the pueblo revival architecture in the rest of the historical buildings, this structure was wooden and had a limestone fireplace, which is not very common in this neighborhood.

This building, such as many of the other buildings in Miami Springs, has served multiple purposes throughout its creation. Designated as a Miami Springs historic site in 1994, the hunting lodge was built by Glenn Curtiss as a way to enjoy the outdoors a few miles away from his home, and it was one of the most popular sites before the country club and clubhouse were created. It served as a clubhouse for the Miami Gun Club, and eventually became the neighborhoods elementary school from the 1920’s to the 1930’s, and the building went on to become a perfume factory, airplane factory, and is now someone’s beautiful log cabin home (“Hunting Lodge”). The people who live in the home now have it beautifully manicured. Although the site as been through some renovation the past hundred years, the owners of the home kept the original wood on the sides of the home as a way to pay homage to this building’s past.

Hunting Lodge. Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

Miami Springs Golf Course, 650 Curtiss Parkway

Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

The Miami Springs Golf Course was designated a Miami Springs Historic Site in 2008 and is the largest landmark. It opened in 1923 and its 18-hole 183-acre long course has been a large source of attraction and tourism for the community (Miami Springs Golf & Country Club.). Even if you are not a fan of golf, driving by and seeing the large green manicured lawns makes this landmark a beautiful and historic site. Although I could not find the price of what it takes to maintain this course, there is no doubt that much of the property taxes paid by community members goes to maintaining the golf course.

Glenn Hammond Curtiss Mansion and Gardens, 500 Deer Run

This Pueblo revival style home belonged to Glenn H. Curtiss, the founder of the city. He and his family lived here until he died, and the mansion is now run by a non-profit organization that is run by mostly volunteers. It was reestablished in 1998 when individuals in the community set up a grassroots campaign to save up money to restore the house to its original glory. This home’s interior and exterior are both incredible, with western and Seminole in fluences that are prevalent in each aspect of the property. This home does have a few touches of Miami here and there, such as an oolite staircase and native plants that adorn the landmark. The structure is now used to hold events such as weddings and other grand parties. The building was open to the public but due to COVID-19, I was unable to visit the interior of the home (The Curtiss Mansion).

Green

Dove Ave Park, 700 Dove Ave

Dove Ave Park. Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

Although there is plenty of greenery, this park is one of the three parks in the Miami Springs neighborhood. With one speedball field, four Tee ball fields, a playground and a dog park, the park itself feels very small. The park is a large mass of greenery, but there are not many trees. The city seems to be making an effort to add some native plants, however, and have planted some juvenile gumbo limbo and wild coffee. Although the park is on the smaller size, this is a small community, and is an excellent place to spend an afternoon.

Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

Miami Springs Recreation Department, 401 Westward Dr

Home of the Miami Springs Sport Center and the Springs Community center, the Miami Springs Recreation is one of the true gems of the city. With a pool, basketball course, archery, gym, and an aquatic center, these centers have so many fun activities for residents and non-residents to enjoy (although non-residents do pay more to use the amenities)  

My favorite aspect of the park was the large playground that was pirate themed. The floor is rubber and there are many fun activities for children to enjoy while visiting, and it is clear that the management of the park makes a big effort to keep everything clean.

Curtiss Parkway

Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

This two-mile long trail sits in the heart of the city. Although this trail isn’t technically a park, it is a beautiful spot to walk, skate or bike on. It sits nestled between the golf course as well as some homes and walking through it is an absolute dream. The city decided to plant oak trees throughout the trail, making it shady and enjoyable to use year-round.

Transportation

With most people in the community having two cars, the community has not seemed to have invested much in public transportation (CITE CENSUS). Since the neighborhood is small, it’s understandable that there are not many bus stops, but it is still shocking to drive around and see very few in site. During my visit to Springs, I saw one bus stop the entire time I was there.

The city does offer a free shuttle that circles around the neighborhood, and they offer a pdf online that shows where the stops are. The shuttle only comes around from 7am-6pm though, and people who work or need to travel at a later time may struggle. Having a car is a MUST in this community, and although there have been positive steps to improving transportation, this aspect of the municipality could be improved.

Image taken from https://www.miamisprings-fl.gov/

Food

There are very few restaurants within the city lines, as the town was meant to be a purely rural area. The city, however, does feature the list of small businesses on their website and encourages everyone to visit.

Cracker’s

Ready to yeehaw? When driving by, this place is easy to miss but this small but home-town-feeling casual restaurant is serves southern comfort foods and classic American meals that you would not expect to find in the Hialeah/Springs area. There food was inexpensive and the portions were large. Much of their dining area is outside, making it a perfect restaurant to visit during lockdown. I recommend trying their “BBQ Baby back ree-tubs” as well as daily homemade cakes!

Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

Big Tomato

Serving classics such as pizza, wings, and paninis, this place is somewhere that everyone can find something to enjoy. This place can be pricey, as they do use gourmet ingredients, but it is an excellent place to visit when you want pizza that tastes fresh, crispy, and cheesy.

My little Greek deli

Out of all the restaurants to visit in Springs, this is the place I’d recommend the most. This small place used to get packed pre-covid, but they are currently open at 50 percent capacity. My favorite part of this restaurant is that they serve authentic Mediterranean food and their pastries are out of this world. I personally recommend their kourabiedes and baklava.

Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

Businesses

Woody’s Tavern

This tavern is another charming place to visit in Miami Springs. With a large amount of outdoor seating and live music playing every weekend, this place is always booming with life. Their parmesan garlic fries are fantastic, and I also recommend their smoked fish dip.  

Hotel Country Club

Designated as a historic site in 1984, The hotel country club is now an elderly home and rehab center. I was unable to find a lot of information about the center, but the employees were kind enough to let me enter and enjoy the classic pueblo revival architecture that is common in many of the other Miami Springs landmarks.

Ahdriana Amandi / CC BY 4.0

Bryson’s Irish Pub

Bryson’s Pub has an indoor and outdoor bar with an awesome menu and atmosphere. They also have a liquor store that visitors.

Summary

Miami Springs has so much more historical significance than the eye can see, and it is a place I recommend every Miami citizen to visit. There are so many more historical places and incredible landmarks to visit that I did not mention here and they are all incredible.

The city sells itself as an excellent place to raise children and I highly agree. Although the city is small, there is much to do and many activities both children and adults can enjoy and participate in. Another aspect that makes it a great neighborhood for families is all the greenery that is in the community, making it an awesome place to spend outside.

Works Cited

“QuickFacts”, United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/miamispringscityflorida Accessed 17 April 2021.

Advisory Council on Historic Renovation. “Miami Springs, Florida.” https://www.achp.gov/preserve-america/community/miami-springs-florida. Accessed 21April 2021.

Crackers Casual Dining. https://www.eatatcrackers.com/

Crouch, Tom D.. “Glenn Hammond Curtiss”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 19 Jul. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Glenn-Hammond-Curtiss. Accessed 25 April 2021.

Data Usa. “Miami Springs, Fl”. https://datausa.io/profile/geo/miami-springs-fl/#demographics. Accessed 22 April 2021.

Miami Springs Golf & Country Club. “The Miami Springs Golf Course History.” 2017. http://miamispringsgolfcourse.com/history/. Accessed 22 April 2021.

Miami Springs. “Hunting Lodge.” https://www.miamisprings-fl.gov/community/hunting-lodge. Accessed 20 April 2021.

Miami Springs. “Zoning Map”. https://www.miamisprings-fl.gov/planning/zoning-map

My Little Greek Deli. “A Taste of Greece In Miami Springs” http://www.mylittlegreekdeli.com/.

The Curtiss Mansion. “Community History”. https://curtissmansion.com/community-history/. Accessed 25 April 2021.

Viva 500. “Miami Springs.” https://vivafl500.org/cities/miami-springs/ Accessed 20 April 2021.

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