National Register of Historic Places listings in Miami, Florida Approximately men voted for Miami's incorporation in in the building to the left. The Miami area was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Native American tribes. The Tequestas occupied the area for a thousand years before encountering Europeans. An Indian village of hundreds of people dating to — B. A Spanish mission was constructed one year later in The Miami area subsequently became a site of fighting during the Second Seminole War.
Miami is noted as "the only major city in the United States conceived by a woman, Julia Tuttle ",  a local citrus grower and a wealthy Cleveland native. The Miami area was better known as "Biscayne Bay Country" in the early years of its growth.
In the late 19th century, reports described the area as a promising wilderness. Julia Tuttle subsequently convinced Henry Flagler , a railroad tycoon , to expand his Florida East Coast Railway to the region, for which she became known as "the mother of Miami. Black labor played a crucial role in Miami's early development. During the beginning of the 20th century, migrants from the Bahamas and African-Americans constituted 40 percent of the city's population.
When landlords began to rent homes to African-Americans in neighborhoods close to Avenue J what would later become NW Fifth Avenue , a gang of white men with torches visited the renting families and warned them to move or be bombed. The legacy of Jim Crow was embedded in these developments. Miami's chief of police, H. Leslie Quigg, did not hide the fact that he, like many other white Miami police officers, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Unsurprisingly, these officers enforced social codes far beyond the written law. Quigg, for example, "personally and publicly beat a colored bellboy to death for speaking directly to a white woman. The war brought an increase in Miami's population; by , , people lived in the city. After Fidel Castro rose to power in Cuba in , many wealthy Cubans sought refuge in Miami, further increasing the population. The city developed businesses and cultural amenities as part of the New South.
In the s and s, South Florida weathered social problems related to drug wars, immigration from Haiti and Latin America , and the widespread destruction of Hurricane Andrew.
The city's nickname, The Magic City, comes from this rapid growth. Winter visitors remarked that the city grew so much from one year to the next that it was like magic.
The highest undulations are found along the coastal Miami Rock Ridge , whose substrate underlies most of the eastern Miami metropolitan region. The main portion of the city lies on the shores of Biscayne Bay which contains several hundred natural and artificially created barrier islands , the largest of which contains Miami Beach and South Beach.
Geology The surface bedrock under the Miami area is called Miami oolite or Miami limestone. Miami limestone formed as the result of the drastic changes in sea level associated with recent glaciations or ice ages. All of southern Florida was covered by a shallow sea. Several parallel lines of reef formed along the edge of the submerged Florida plateau , stretching from the present Miami area to what is now the Dry Tortugas.
The area behind this reef line was in effect a large lagoon, and the Miami limestone formed throughout the area from the deposition of oolites and the shells of bryozoans. Starting about , years ago the Wisconsin glaciation began lowering sea levels, exposing the floor of the lagoon. The sea level rose quickly after that, stabilizing at the current level about years ago, leaving the mainland of South Florida just above sea level.
Beneath the plain lies the Biscayne Aquifer ,  a natural underground source of fresh water that extends from southern Palm Beach County to Florida Bay , with its highest point peaking around the cities of Miami Springs and Hialeah. Most of the Miami metropolitan area obtains its drinking water from this aquifer.
For this reason, the mass transit systems in and around Miami are elevated or at-grade. Alligators have ventured into Miami communities and on major highways. In terms of land area, Miami is one of the smallest major cities in the United States.
According to the US Census Bureau , the city encompasses a total area of Of that area, Neighborhoods The Downtown Miami Historic District is the city's largest historic district , with buildings ranging from to in the heart of Downtown. Map of Miami neighborhoods. Miami is partitioned into many different sections, roughly into North, South, West and Downtown. Downtown is South Florida 's central business district, and Florida's largest and most influential central business district.
Downtown has the largest concentration of international banks in the U. Downtown is home to many major banks, courthouses , financial headquarters, cultural and tourist attractions, schools, parks and a large residential population.
Miller School of Medicine. Coral Way is a historic residential neighborhood built in connecting Downtown with Coral Gables , and is home to many old homes and tree-lined streets. Coconut Grove was established in and is the location of Miami's City Hall in Dinner Key , the Coconut Grove Playhouse , CocoWalk , many nightclubs , bars, restaurants and bohemian shops, and as such, is very popular with local college students.
It is a historic neighborhood with narrow, winding roads, and a heavy tree canopy. The western side of Miami includes Little Havana , West Flagler, and Flagami , and is home to many of the city's traditionally immigrant neighborhoods.
Although at one time a mostly Jewish neighborhood, today western Miami is home to immigrants from mostly Central America and Cuba , while the west central neighborhood of Allapattah is a multicultural community of many ethnicities. The northern side of Miami includes Midtown , a district with a great mix of diversity with many West Indians , Hispanics , European Americans , bohemians , and artists.
Edgewater , and Wynwood are neighborhoods of Midtown and are made up mostly of high-rise residential towers and are home to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The wealthier residents usually live in the northeastern part, in Midtown, the Design District , and the Upper East Side , with many sought after s homes and home of the MiMo Historic District , a style of architecture originated in Miami in the s.
Climate of Miami Typical summer afternoon thunderstorm rolling in from the Everglades. Its sea-level elevation, coastal location, position just above the Tropic of Cancer , and proximity to the Gulf Stream shape its climate. With January averaging Cool air usually settles after the passage of a cold front , which produces much of the little amount of rainfall during the season. The wet season begins some time in May, ending in mid-October.
Much of the year's Dew points in the warm months range from The most likely time for Miami to be hit is during the peak of the Cape Verde season, which is mid-August through the end of September.