Restored Miami Globe Pan Am Science Museum, public view in 22
Editor’s note: This article was inspired by a question submitted by Miami Herald reader Steven Boyd via Curious305, our community-powered reporting series that solicits questions from readers about Miami-Dade, Broward, Florida Keys and the rest of the Sunshine State. Submit your question here or scroll down to fill out our form.
Hey, Curious305: There used to be a beautiful spinning globe in the lobby of the Miami Science Museum and Space Transit Planetarium. What happened to this fabulous Miami landmark? Where is he now ? What will happen?
“The 6,500 pound painted steel Pan Am Globe has been a memorable highlight for generations of customers who have visited the former Coconut Grove location. Due to the complexity and cost of moving the globe from its position in the museum lobby, Frost Science identified a local partner who took possession of the globe in 2020,” said Joseph Quiñones, Vice President of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. marketing.
The identity of this partner will be revealed later this year when the unveiling of the globe is dedicated in a public space in downtown Miami, a few blocks from the Frost Science Museum.
What happened to the globe?
In January 2021, the painted steel Pan Am Globe was placed on a flatbed truck and removed from storage to a temporary location for what Quiñones calls an “extensive restoration” process.
The restoration was originally scheduled to be completed in March with an official announcement and unveiling to be expected thereafter.
The restoration is still progressing well and the unveiling of the Pan American globe is still on track to happen in 2022.
But given the recent spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19, the restoration process and installation take longer. Completion is now extended beyond March, according to Quiñones and the Miami advertising company that handles the announcement of the unveiling.
According to the agency, placement of the globe will be in a location that protects the historic globe from the elements. The Globe’s new location around Biscayne Boulevard, and whether it will be indoors or outdoors, has yet to be revealed.
History of the globe
Now that we know the globe is apparently fine and will once again make its public bow, let’s take a look back at its story.
The rotating painted steel globe welcomed visitors to the old Miami Science Museum for 55 years until the museum closed in 2015. The globe, made by Rand McNally, was originally commissioned in the 1930s by Pan American Airways to serve as the centerpiece of his dinner. Key Airboat Terminal, “an iconic reminder of its early days of international flight,” the Miami Herald reported in 2015.
Before becoming a museum piece, the globe – measuring 31ft 5in in circumference – was originally installed in the center of Pan Am’s Art Deco Terminal which opened in 1934 in Dinner Key. Pan Am, at the time, offered what was then a new service – scheduled commercial passenger flights to Cuba and the Bahamas. This building eventually became Miami City Hall.
The globe is adorned with country names, geographic features, ocean depths and political boundaries that existed then, as well as existing air routes, the Herald reported in 2015.
It’s not the first time the unforgettable globe has been tucked away out of sight in a warehouse.
The Pan Am globe had a more dastardly fate before it was rescued by museum patrons from a leaking storage shed where it lay rusting for a decade after the defunct Pan Am moved to London International Airport. Miami.
In 1960, the then-restored globe was hoisted to its longtime home on South Miami Avenue while the former Space and Science Museum was under construction. The heavy globe settled into its entrance hall before the roof was fixed.
The coming revelation
Although Frost no longer owns the globe, “it was important for the museum to ensure that the community could continue to enjoy this local icon,” Quiñones said.
The new owner and advertising company responsible for the announcement will be revealed later this year.
The globe has, however, made a public appearance in the meantime. Not advertised.
A spokeswoman for the ad agency said when it was transported on that flatbed truck in January 2021, it passed through the main entrance of City Hall in Coconut Grove.
But, as Jimmy Buffett said in the title of his iconic Miami-made live album of yesteryear, “you had to be there.”
This story was originally published January 24, 2022 11:37 a.m.