Grassroots efforts by local activists and preservationists are afoot to improve the East Little Havana, one of Miami's oldest residential areas and the part of Little Havana just west of the Miami River. The neighborhood, although famous as the cultural heart of the Cuban diaspora in the United States, has been plagued by poverty for decades. The first major goal seems to be the creation of an East Little Havana Historic District, which would include hundreds of bungalows built in the first decades of Miami's history, and larger commercial buildings on or near SW 8th street, like the mediterranean revival Tower Hotel and the art deco Tower Theater. In the meantime, preservationist's efforts are even more local, convincing residents to seek designation for their own houses, and small-scale developers to invest sensitively. The Tower Hotel, for example, which once hosted Count Basie and other great performers and for decades has been a slummy rooming house, is being preserved and restored to its historic charm as a new boutique.
· Grassroots effort to preserve East Little Havana [DBR]
· Miami Bungalow Love [Transit Miami]
· New Plans for the Tower Hotel [Little Havana Guide]
· Tower Theater [MDC]
· Tower Hotel