Opa-locka: Mirage City explored one of South Florida’s most unique architectural communities. Based on stories and names of characters from the Arabian Tales, Opa-locka presented itself as both eccentric dream; an exotic Middle-eastern urban oasis in a subtropical paradise, and tourist’s kitsch; an architectural conceit more akin to a Hollywood film set. Founded in the 1920s in an undeveloped area of northwest Miami-Dade, the city is a highly romanticized interpretation of an exotic cultural milieu popularized by Hollywood films and archaeological discoveries of its time. The exhibition presented original drawings and architectural models that reintroduce the original fabled vision, aiming to rouse interest in the city’s iconic structural design and encourage efforts to preserve its endangered architectural heritage.
Curated by Jose R. Vazquez, Associate Professor of Architecture at Miami Dade College. Presented in conjunction with the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College and the University of Miami Libraries, Special Collections.
Sponsored by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners.