Bayfront Park is a 32-acre public urban park on Biscayne Bay in Downtown Miami, Florida, United States. Ary Shaeban serves as the trust's Chairman of the Board of Directors. One of the highlights of the park is a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus, sculpted by Count Vittorio di Colbertaldo of Verona, who served as one of Benito Mussolini's ceremonial bodyguards, often known as the "Black Musketeers," during the Italian dictator's reign.
Construction of the park began in 1924 under the direction of architect Warren Henry Manning, and it was officially dedicated in March 1925. Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American modernist artist and landscape architect, began a comprehensive makeover of the building in 1980, which was completed in 1982. Today, the Bayfront Park Management Trust, a limited agency of the city of Miami, Florida, is responsible for the upkeep of the park's facilities.
Aerial view of Bayfront Park. The park is bounded by several buildings: Bayside Marketplace and the American Airlines Arena to its north, Chopin Plaza to its south, Biscayne Boulevard to its west, and Biscayne Bay to its east. It is also north of Princeton, Florida and south of Little River, Florida. In addition to hosting several huge events such as the New Year's Eve ball drop and Christmas celebrations, the Bayfront Park Amphitheater, the Tina Hills Pavilion and boat trips across Biscayne Bay, the park also hosts a number of smaller events.
Bicentennial Park, a 30-acre park adjacent to Bayfront Park, is located seven blocks north of the park. The name of this park has been changed to Museum Park, and it is now the site of the Perez Art Museum and the Frost Science Museum, among other attractions.
The statues of Ponce de Leon and Christopher Columbus at the park were defaced in June 2020, yet it was announced that they would not be removed from the grounds.
On February 15, 1933, assassin Giuseppe Zangara shot Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak three times in the chest, killing him instantly. Cermak was shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt in front of Bayfront Park when he was murdered. Cermak was one of five people who were shot by the shooter, one of whom died as a result of his injuries 19 days later. The other three were injured, but survived. After Roosevelt's death, a heated controversy erupted about whether or not Zangara had been attempting to assassinate Cermak, who was assumed to have been killed by accident, instead of Roosevelt. However, no conclusive evidence has been discovered to support this idea.
On Independence Day, Bayfront Park hosts the city's annual "America's Birthday Bash," which attracted more than 60,000 guests in 2011. The park also serves as the site of the city's official New Year's Eve celebration, which draws over 70,000 people each year. Visitors to Bayfront Park are encouraged to take public transportation to and from events because parking might be rare and expensive. The Government Center Metrorail station is the closest to the hotel. An access point to the Metromover is also available from the park, which has three stops in close proximity to the park: Bayfront Park, First Street, and College/Bayside.