Future plans include renovation of building to serve as vibrant educational center
Miami, June 3, 2016 – Miami Dade College (MDC) today signed a lease agreement with the United States General Services Administration (GSA) that will lead to the renovation and long term use of the historic David W. Dyer Building in downtown Miami.
“We are very proud and honored to be part of this agreement with GSA,” said MDC’s President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. “This is a true testament of MDC’s tradition of serving as an exemplary steward of historic buildings and making them accessible to our students and our community for educational purposes.”
The lease includes initial and renewal terms totaling 115 years. The initial term is for 65 years followed by terms of 20, 15 and 15, respectively. Annual rent is $1.00 during the initial term, and the rent applied to the subsequent renewal terms is nominally increased. In turn, the College will remediate and readapt the iconic building while preserving and protecting its historical elements and artwork.
“The outlease of the Dyer Courthouse reflects a more aggressive approach at GSA to identifying more productive use for excess and underutilized Federal buildings. This outlease ensures that this historic building will continue to be a vital part of the Miami community for years to come,” said Norman Dong, Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service.
The historic postal and court facility will provide needed classroom and learning spaces for MDC students as well as serve as a location for lectures and community meetings. The College anticipates relocating several of its renowned workforce training initiatives and educational programs to the renovated building. The college’s acclaimed Law Center, School of Architecture, Miami Fashion Institute and other important programs will potentially be housed in or use the historic building.
Located at 300 Northeast First Avenue, across the street from MDC’s bustling Wolfson Campus, construction of the Dyer Building started in 1931 and, like the Freedom Tower at MDC, it is considered a masterpiece of the Mediterranean Revival architectural style. It was designed by famed architects Phineas E. Paist and Harold D. Steward and officially opened in 1933. It stands as the most monumental Keystone, local limestone structure in South Florida with elaborate external and internal spaces and features. The outside facade includes a colonnade of Corinthian columns and window frames with embossed repeating chevron patterns, and panels depicting scenes from Florida’s history. Interior spaces include entry vestibules with arched openings leading to the main lobby, marble floors, original chandeliers, coffered ceilings and marble postal tables retaining original lamps and cast brass grilles. The building also has an open interior courtyard with a fountain. Most spectacular of all is the ceremonial District Courtroom with its original details including a mural, Law Guides Florida Progress, completed by artist Denman Fink in 1941 and depicting the positive impact of justice guiding Florida’s economic development.
The Dyer Building originally housed ALL Miami federal agencies with the exception of the National Weather Service. The United States Postal Service vacated the building in 1976 and it was subsequently used by the Federal courts and other agencies. Since 2008, the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been vacant and underutilized.
With the long-term lease of the Dyer Building, MDC now oversees the operations of four historic buildings – the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower, the Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, the Tower Theater and the Dyer Building. Some historians have asserted the Dyer Building is arguably Miami’s most important landmark building because it housed so many key agencies and provided so many services to the fledgling City of Miami and all within a grand design that warmly welcomed all who visited.
GSA Media-only contact: Gregory Andrews, firstname.lastname@example.org