In 1952, PortMiami was located on the mainland just north of downtown. In 1960, a resolution was approved to construct a new port on Dodge Island by joining it with surrounding islands.

Today, PortMiami operates on a completely man made island and is known as the cruise capital of the world. It accounts for more than 334,000 jobs and brings an estimated annual economic impact of $43 billion to the state of Florida.

Incorporated in 1925, the City of Coral Gables was developed by George Merrick during the height of the Florida land boom of the 1920s. One of the country’s first planned communities, the population of Coral Gables had increased to 19,837 by 1950.

With an estimated 2018 population of 50,999, Coral Gables is known for its strict zoning regulations, historic Mediterranean style architecture and vibrant central business district straddling Miracle Mile.

The neighborhood of Flagami in 1952. In 1961, the Palmetto Expressway opened as a $30 million bypass route around the greater Miami area. In 1969, the 14th Street East-West Expressway opened between the Palmetto Expressway and Overtown. In 1974, the road’s name was changed to the Dolphin Expressway to commemorate the Miami Dolphins after back-to-back NFL Super Bowl wins.

Today, the Palmetto and Dolphin expressways are two of the most congested highways in the state.

In 1952, the Miami International Airport served as a United States Air Force Reserve base.

Today, the Miami International Airport is the 13th busiest airport in the country and 40th busiest in the world by total passenger traffic.

The City of Opa-locka in 1953. Opa-locka was founded by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss in 1926. Located in the northeastern area of Miami-Dade County, the city was home to 5,271 residents in 1950.

An abbreviation of a Seminole name Opatishawockalocka, meaning “wooded hummock”, Opa-locka is now home to 16,356 residents. In addition, it has the largest collection of Moorish Revival architecture in the Western Hemisphere.

North Miami-Dade County prior to the 1967 opening of the luxury resort development Turnberry Isle.

The City of Aventura was incorporated on November 7, 1995. The 3.5 square mile city of 37,988 is home to the third-largest shopping mall in the U.S., Aventura Mall.


Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Historic aerials courtesy of University of Florida Map & Imagery Library. 2018 aerials courtesy of Google Earth. Contact Ennis at