Backstory and Context
The Ingraham Building was built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler’s Model Land Company. Flagler was the president and founder of the Florida East Coast Railway. In the 1890s he decided to extend his line down to south Florida, leading to the creation of Miami in the process. The construction of the railroad also resulted in Flagler’s company acquiring significant amounts of land in Florida, numbering in the millions of acres. Flagler established a “Land Department” of the Florida East Coast Railway to manage, develop, and sell these properties. In 1896, he turned the department into a separate, independent corporation, the Model Land Company. He appointed James E. Ingraham as the company’s president. Previously the president of the South Florida Railroad Company, Ingraham was highly successful in making Flagler’s properties profitable enough to rival his railroad and hotel enterprises.
Construction of the Ingraham Building began in 1926 and was completed the following year. It was named in honor of President James Ingraham, who had passed away in 1924. The Ingraham Building, like many other buildings in downtown Miami, was created in the middle of the Florida Land Boom. Reaching its peak in the mid-1920s, the Land Boom was a time of intense land speculation and migration in Florida. With the population exploding and property values skyrocketing, Miami was forced to begin constructing high-rise buildings to meet demand.
The Ingraham Building is noteworthy for having been designed by the architectural firm Schultze and Weaver. The famous New York firm designed such structures as Miami’s Freedom Tower, New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and several Biltmore Hotels. The thirteen-story Ingraham was created in the Second Renaissance Revival style and features elaborate exterior ornamentation and Indiana limestone. Upon its completion, the Ingraham housed offices for the Model Land Company; other early tenants included architects, lawyers, realtors, and the Florida Power and Light Company. Today the Ingraham Building is largely unchanged in appearance and continues to serve as office and retail space. Noteworthy tenants today include consulates for Jamaica and the Bahamas.
"City of Miami Designation Report: Ingraham Building." 1984. Accessed June 8, 2017. www.historicpreservationmiami.com/pdfs/INGRAHAM%20BUILDING.pdf.
Picture 1: https://www.floridamemory.com/fpc/reference/rc19950.jpg
Picture 2: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3888/33511616655_54a2df3632_b.jpg
Picture 3: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/119430893.jpg
Picture 4: http://everglades.fiu.edu/reclaim/images/ingraham.jpg