It took one man with a vision to transform an anonymous neighborhood of one-story warehouses into Miami’s hippest outdoor art gallery.
Once a thriving garment district, Wynwood fell into neglect in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. By the late 1990’s, artists and collectors began purchasing some of Wynwood’s unused industrial buildings and converting them into studios and galleries. Real estate developer Tony Goldman conceived the Wynwood Walls in 2009. He thought that Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings would provide the perfect canvas for street artists.
Goldman would supply the buildings, paints and for visiting artists, air fare and hotel accommodations. Goldman partnered with Jeffrey Deitch, who had expertise in street art and would serve as the project’s curator. Deitch and Goldman had previously collaborated on a project in New York City honoring the late artist, Keith Haring.
A fun way to see the Wynwood murals is on a guided cycle tour led by someone who really knows street art, Ryan the Wheelbarrow, of Wynwood Mural Tours. On Sundays, join him for a free one hour bike tour of the Wynwood murals, exploring some of the most influential pieces in the neighborhood. Tips are appreciated.
No bike – no problem. Citi’s Miami bike sharing program has two locations in Wynwood.
If you’re hungry, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar located next to the Wynwood Walls, has a creative tapas style menu and in nearby Midtown, Sugarcane has a great happy hour serving inventive artisanal cocktails and tasty small plates.
Since its inception, over 50 artists from 16 countries have painted over 80,000 square feet of Wynwood’s walls. In a few short years Tony Goldman’s gamble paid off. Property values quadrupled and a revitalized Wynwood is now Miami visitors go to destination after South Beach.