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Historic Downtown
Homestead: A Historic Place

Downtown Homestead is a place of both history and change.  In 2007, Historic Downtown Homestead was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 2013, the City of Homestead celebrated its Centennial.  The Historic District encompasses 11 city blocks that comprise an area of approximately 12 acres.  Recently, the City embarked on a dramatic Downtown Revitalization Project designed to breathe new life into the Historic District with a variety of public and private projects and partnerships.

  History of Downtown Homestead
Downtown Homestead
Downtown Homestead became famous as the hub of South Florida’s early railroad pioneer expansion at the dawn of the 20th century.  The Florida East Coast Railway was extended south and the Downtown District began to take shape with a variety of commercial and public buildings.  Historic Downtown Homestead qualified for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as being both associated with significant historic events and containing distinctive architectural styles.  As you stroll through Downtown, you’ll find examples of Masonry Vernacular, Art Deco, Mission Revival, Italian Romanesque Revival, and Neoclassical Revival.   

For a self-guided walking tour that explores our history and shows how Downtown Homestead has evolved, pick up a copy of Homestead Then & Now, or click here.

Seminole Theatre

Seminole Theatre

On October 28, 2015 the curtain finally rose on a stage that had remained dark for nearly four decades.  The reopening of the Seminole Theatre was made possible thanks to the citizens of Homestead who approved funding for its restoration during the decisive May 2014 Bond Referendum.

The historic structure, originally built in 1921, was first restored in 1940 with the iconic Art Deco façade you see today.  The theatre, a central part of Homestead’s social life, was mainly used as a movie house until it closed its doors in 1979.  In 1992, it suffered a near total loss as a result of Hurricane Andrew. In an attempt to salvage the historic property, citizen groups embarked on a renovation effort that would span decades. The 2014 citizen-approved funding allowed for the complete restoration of this space as a cultural hub for Homestead.

Click here for information on upcoming shows and programs at this intimate historic venue.

 National Parks Trolley

National Parks Trolley Downtown

Winter through Spring, Homestead invites its residents, neighbors, and visitors to explore Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, and Homestead Bayfront Park with a FREE guided trolley ride from Historic Downtown Homestead. 

The City of Homestead, designated as the “Gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks," created this pioneer program to offer free public transportation to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks by expanding its already successful local trolley service.

In addition, both Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park have partnered to offer free Park admission to those on the National Parks Trolley. This ground-breaking project is the first of its kind nationally to offer public transportation to two National Parks and was the recipient of the prestigious National Park Service Director’s Partnership Award in 2015.  

Click here for information on current seasons and schedules or call (305) 224-4457.

Old Town Hall Museum

Downtown Homestead is also home to the Homestead Old Town Hall Museum.  This historic structure was constructed in 1917, and is on both the local and the national registries of historic buildings.  It served as the City of Homestead Council Chambers, Police Department, and Fire House until City Hall moved to a location on Homestead Boulevard in 1975.  In April 2016, City Hall moved back to Downtown Homestead and is currently located at 100 Civic Court.  Today, the downstairs of the Old Town Hall serves as the home of the Historic Town Hall Museum and the upstairs contains the offices of Homestead Main Street.

City Hall

City Hall

After years of planning and months of construction, the City of Homestead announced the completion of its new home for City business in March 2016. The 75-foot tall landmark building was designed almost a decade ago, by Rodriguez and Quiroga Architects, and was completed under the City’s current leadership to be a community centerpiece that aligns with the vision to revitalize Downtown Homestead.

Designed with Homestead’s growing population in mind, the new facility features a 225-seat council chamber to accommodate more residents than before during public meetings.  The new City Hall also provides a better operational flow for City business, is constructed to withstand a category 5 hurricane, and will function as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during a crisis.

For a listing of City Departments and how to reach them, click here.

 Coming Attractions

Downtown Homestead Map

The Downtown Homestead Revitalization Plan consists of three phases.  The first phase includes the City Hall, Seminole Theatre, National Parks Trolley, and Police Station.  The first three projects have already been completed and are adding value by bringing tourism, culture, and people to Downtown Homestead.  The new Police Station is expected to be complete in Spring 2017.  Its construction is funded through the May 2014 Bond Referendum in which 74% of Homestead voters approved funding to move our officers out of a dangerous, outdated building into a Temporary Police Station and begin construction on a new Police Station in the heart of Downtown Homestead.

The second phase consists of a Transportation & Retail Development, Iconic Attraction, Homestead Cybrary, and Losner Park Expansion.  The Transportation & Retail Development will provide a transit hub and parking for residents and visitors, as well as a family entertainment complex and various street-level retail and dining opportunities.  The Iconic Attraction will build on the “Gateway” brand to combine an Everglades-themed 4-D ride with an observation tower that boasts a view of the Everglades and Florida Keys.  The Homestead Cybrary is a library for the next century—combining the traditional functions of a library with state of the art technology such as virtual reality, 3-D printing, and more!  Losner Park’s expansion will transform the quaint pocket park into a destination park designed by Sasaki and Associates, the same architects who prepared the Master Plan to the Beijing Olympics.

The third phase of the project brings low-rise apartment developments to provide a residential component to Downtown Homestead.  It also expands the City’s relationship with Miami-Dade College (MDC) by creating a Student Center and Entrepreneurial Center directly across from City Hall.  This allows MDC’s students to get out into Downtown Homestead to explore retail, recreation, and dining opportunities while bringing Homestead’s business community to MDC as they utilize the resources of the Entrepreneurial Center.