Monthly Archives: September 2015

Lake Worth Drainage District history (1985-1995).

LWDD history Part 9  (short 5 minute video, Click to start program)

Water, Water, Everywhere.  As devoted readers of over 260 postings at this website, you must know by now that my central focus began with my book, “Florida’s Big Dig,” the story of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Author, Bill Crawford, presents keynote speech at the LWDD Centennial Celebration

Author, Bill Crawford, presents keynote speech at the LWDD Centennial Celebration

Along the way, my interest branched out to the crisis of severe drought in California, canals in America and throughout Europe, Africa, and Latin America, both today and in the past, to water control and management, canals, dams, aqueducts, and canal aqueducts for transportation, to the law in America when rivers and waterways and their tributaries run through two or more States of the United States.

A few months ago, I was invited to give the keynote speech at the Centennial Celebration of the Lake Worth Drainage District.  Incorporated in 1915, the District historically has played an important role in managing water in one of the largest drainage districts in Florida.  The District insures that there is sufficient water in drought and protection against flooding during the rainy season.

This short tape chronicles a decade of rapid growth in population while agriculture’s pressing needs continue to require the greatest amount of water for the growth of fruits and vegetables, including sugar cane and peppers that in many ways make Palm Beach County the ‘bread basket’ of the Sunshine State.  Click the link above for “LWDD history Part 9.”

Miami Marine Stadium–Will the efforts of preservationists succeed in bringing back one of Florida’s best exemplars of modern architecture designed for speed boat racing?

This all-concrete stadium with wooden seating for 6,566 opened on December 27, 1963, on Virginia Key, Miami, Fla., on land donated by the prominent Mattheson family.  The design by a young and precocious architect for viewing speed boat racing was a unique, modern concrete structure with a concrete canopy the length of a football field, folded and cantilevered. Seating was wooden.

Designed by Cuban-born Hilario Candela, a 28-year-old architect, the stadium opened in 1963.

Designed by Cuban-born Hilario Candela, a 28-year-old architect, the stadium opened in 1963.

Total costs incurred in building the stadium amounted to approximately $2 million, with $1 million for construction of the structure and $900,000 for dredging the already shallow raceway by legendary marine and heavy construction firm J.B. Fraser and Sons. J.Ben Fraser had served as the critical director of procurement for the Florida Inland Navigation District of the right-of-way needed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the widening of the three-county strip of the Intracoastal Waterway needed by the federal government beginning in 1929.

From opening until closure on September 18, 1992, the stadium played host to speed boat races, music concerts, and even boxing matches.  The wind damage from Hurricane Andrew rendered the structure unsafe; city officials officially closed Candela’s masterpiece in architecture.  A non-profit organization of community leaders has assembled to raise the money needed to restore this masterpiece.