World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hialeah Park Race Track

Article Id: WHEBN0007322982
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hialeah Park Race Track  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hialeah, Florida, Flamingo Stakes, Florida State Road 934, Westland Mall (Hialeah), Tom Durkin
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Hialeah Park Race Track

Hialeah Park Race Track
Hialeah Park in 1925
Location 2200 E 4th Avenue
Hialeah, Florida
Owned by John Brunetti
Date opened 1921, 2013 (reopening)
Race type Quarter Horse
Official website
Hialeah Park Race Track
Hialeah Park Race Track is located in Florida
Coordinates
NRHP Reference # 79000664 (1979)
88003477 (1988)
Designated NRHP March 5, 1979
January 12, 1988 (eligible as NHL)

The Hialeah Park Race Track (also known as the Miami Jockey Club or Hialeah Race Track or Hialeah Park) is a historic racetrack in Hialeah, Florida. Its site covers 40 square blocks of central-east side Hialeah from Palm Avenue east to East 4th Avenue, and from East 22nd Street on the south to East 32nd Street on the north. On March 5, 1979, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Another listing for it was added in 1988. The Hialeah Park Race Track is served by the Miami Metrorail at the Hialeah Station at Palm Avenue and East 21st Street.

History

The Hialeah Park Race Track is one of the oldest existing recreational facilities in southern Florida. Originally opened in 1922 by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss and his partner, Missouri cattleman James H. Bright, as part of their development of the town of Hialeah, Florida, Hialeah Park opened as a greyhound racing track operated by the Miami Kennel Club. The Miami Jockey Club launched Hialeah's thoroughbred horse racing track on January 25, 1925. The facility was severely damaged by the 1926 hurricane and in 1930 was sold to Philadelphia horseman Joseph E. Widener. With Kentucky horseman Col. Edward R. Bradley as an investor, Widener hired architect Lester W. Geisler to design a complete new grandstand and Renaissance Revival clubhouse facilities along with landscaped gardens of native flora and fauna and a lake in the infield that Widener stocked with flamingos. Hailed as one of the most beautiful racetracks in the world, Hialeah Park officially opened on January 14, 1932. An Australian totalisator for accepting parimutuel betting was the first in America to be installed. The park became so famous for its flamingo flocks that it has been officially designated a sanctuary for the American Flamingo by the Audubon Society.

Winston Churchill at Hialeah Park, 1946
Image showing the restoration of the main club house in 2009

The horse-racing movie Let It Ride, with Richard Dreyfuss, Terri Garr, and Jennifer Tilly, had most of its principal film photography shot at Hialeah Park in 1987.[1] Hialeah Park was also made an appearance in Public Enemies but scenes were shot in the midwest. The Champ (1979) with Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway and Ricky Schroder filmed scenes on Flamingo Day, 3/4/78.[2]

Hialeah Park Racetrack was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 2, 1979. On January 12, 1988, the property was determined eligible for designation as a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior.

In 2001, Hialeah Park stopped hosting racing after a change in state law kept it from having exclusive dates in its competition with Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course. Consequently, owner John Brunetti closed Hialeah Park to the public. The filly Cheeky Miss won the last thoroughbred race run at Hialeah on May 22, 2001. Among the races the track hosted was the appropriately named Flamingo Stakes, an important stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby for 3-year-old horses, and the once prestigious Widener Handicap, a major race for horses four years and older that was the East Coast counterpart to the Santa Anita Handicap in California. Important annual stakes races that were run annually until 2001 were:

In 2004, the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering revoked Hialeah's thoroughbred permit because it did not hold races for the previous two years. As of 2013, its facilities remain intact except for the stables, which were demolished in early 2007.[3] In 2006, the abandoned Hialeah Park site was considered to be a possible location for a new Florida Marlins Ballpark.[4]

On March 2009, it was announced that track owner John Brunetti was awarded a racing permit. Design firm EwingCole was selected to develop a master plan for renovation and further development, including a new casino. A $40–$90 million restoration project was begun in mid-2009.[5]

On May 7, 2009 the Florida legislature agreed to a deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida that allowed Hialeah Park to operate slot machines and run Quarter Horse races.[6] The historic racetrack reopened on November 28, 2009 but only for quarter horse races. The park installed slot machines in January 2010 as part of a deal to allow for two calendar seasons of racing. The races ran until February 2, 2010.[7] Only a portion of the park has been restored and an additional $30 million will be needed to complete this first phase of the project. The full transformation was expected to cost $1 billion since the plan included a complete redevelopment of the surrounding area including the construction of an entertainment complex to include a hotel, restaurants, casinos, stores and a theater.[8] On June 2010 concerns were raised over the preservation of Hialeah Park's historical status as the planned development threatened to hurt Hialeah Park's status as a National Historic Landmark.[9]

Hialeah Park, circa 1938
Hialeah Park, circa 1938

References

  1. ^ Vasquez, Michael. "Hialeah Park's new permit requires racing within a year." Miami Herald. Friday March 20, 2009. Retrieved on May 27, 2009.
  2. ^ Miami Herald. 3/5/78.
  3. ^ Vasquez, Michael. "Hialeah Park's new permit requires racing within a year." Miami Herald. Friday March 20, 2009. Retrieved on May 27, 2009.
  4. ^ Frisaro, Joe Marlins denied state funding for stadium, May 6, 2006
  5. ^ Vasquez, Michael. "Hialeah Park's new permit requires racing within a year." Miami Herald. Friday March 20, 2009. Retrieved on May 27, 2009.
  6. ^ http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/sfl-050609-gambling-seminoles-box,0,947658.story
  7. ^ The rebirth of Hialeah Park: Racing returns Nov. 28
  8. ^ http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/a-gramd-reopening-for-hialeah-89162.html
  9. ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/18/1687282/preservationists-wary-of-renovation.html

External links

  • Official website
  • Dade County listings at National Register of Historic Places
  • Hialeah Park Race Track at Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs
  • Hialeah Park at National Park Service Cultural Resources
  • Photos of Hialeah racetrack facilities
  • (1932)Hileah Park's Australian Totalizator
  • Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. FL-389, "Hialeah Park Race Track, East Fourth Avenue, Hialeah, Miami-Dade County, FL", 92 photos, 20 data pages, 7 photo caption pages
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.