Historic Markers Across Florida

Little Haiti's Mache Ayisyen-"The Caribbean Marketplace"

Marker ID: FLHM F-1009
Location: at NE 2nd Ave. and NE 59th Terr., Miami, FL
County: Miami-Dade
Coordinates: N 25° 49.829    W 080° 11.518
  25.83048333    -80.19196666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMZH9E


Little Haiti's Mache Ayisyen-
"The Caribbean Marketplace"

In the 1980s, thousands of Haitian immigrants settled in Miami, and the neighborhood of Little Haiti began to form. The building that would become this Haitian marketplace was originally constructed in 1936, but sat unused at the time. In 1984, the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, in cooperation with the nonprofit Haitian Task Force, organized a competition for designs to repurpose the building. Miami architect Charles Harrison Pawley, who was born in Haiti to American parents and lived there as a child, won the contract. Pawley based his design on Haiti's gingerbread-style houses and the Marche Ferrier (Iron Market) in the capital of Pot-au-Prince. He also used vibrant colors to evoke the spirit of the Caribbean. When the marketplace opened in 1990, it won a Florida Architect Award and an American Institute of Architects National Honor Award. In 1999, the market closed as funds used to maintain the building dwindled, an merchants were unable to support their businesses. The city acquired the building in 2005 and planned to tear it down, but protest from the Haitian community and other local groups saved it. The marketplace remains a focal point for Haitian business and culture in Miami.

F-1009 A Florida Heritage Site
Sponsored by District 5 Commissioner, Keon Hardemon, The City of Miami Parks Department,
Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Libreri Mapou, Haitian omen of Miami, Maximilian Consultants, Santla Neighborhood Center, Visit Little Haiti,
and the Florida Department of State