Exhibits at Dade Heritage Trust

To further Dade Heritage Trust’s mission to preserve Miami-Dade County’s architectural, environmental and cultural heritage, permanent exhibits are presented to educate visitors and residents about our community’s wonderful resources. Biscayne Bay: Our Water Our World With over 50 public access points, parks, recreational and educational facilities along Biscayne Bay, this beautiful natural asset truly is Our Water, Our World and provides vast opportunities for interaction with the marine environment.  As you will learn in this exhibit, insensitive development and the failure of our governmental bodies to implement protective policies based on science have led to the Bay’s severe decline. We hope to educate our visitors, encourage responsible citizens to become advocates for Biscayne Bay, and insist our elected officials do their best to ensure health of Biscayne Bay for future generations. Curated by Donna Shelley and designed by Little Gables Group. Miami Medicine Dr. James M. Jackson, Miami’s first physician and early Miami medicine are presented in this engaging permanent exhibit with artifacts, text and images that tell the story of Miami’s medical heritage.  Many thanks to exhibit sponsors Jackson Health System and the Dr. John T. MacDonald Foundation with support from Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs, Miami DDA and the City of Miami. Curated by Donna Shelley and designed by Little Gables Group. The Commodore Trail: A Neglected Treasure that Connects Our History The five-mile Commodore Trail first appeared in Miami-Dade County’s plans for parks and recreation in 1969. Since then, this scenic pathway paralleling the shores of Biscayne Bay has become a favorite of cyclists, runners, and walkers. Yet, the Commodore Trail remains a neglected treasure, unimproved and extremely dangerous in many places.  The Commodore Trail is more than just a pathway; it is a recreational and transportation corridor that links many of Miami’s most important historic and cultural sites. They include Vizcaya, Kennedy Park, the Dinner Key marina, Miami City Hall, the center of Coconut Grove, the Barnacle, numerous schools and churches, and The Kampong. The Trail is named in honor of Commodore Ralph Munroe, one of the pioneer founders of Miami.  Munroe built The Barnacle in 1891 as his family home. The Munroe family lived there until 1973, when the property became a state historic park.  Friends of the Commodore Trail was established in the spring of 2018 to improve and preserve this critically important resource for all Miamians. A Better Future for the Commodore Trail Working closely with Friends of the Commodore Trail, landscape architecture students at Florida International University devoted the spring 2019 semester to creating new ideas and possibilities for the Commodore Trail. This exhibit showcases their work.   Our thanks to Ebru Ozer, FIU associate professor of landscape architecture, and her students for their participation in this exhibit. All images and ideas are the property of Florida International University. Friends of the Commodore Trail worked in partnership with Dade Heritage Trust to present the exhibit. Learn About Where You Live Shenandoah The Learn About Where You Live Shenandoah exhibit is currently on display at the Shenandoah Library. This wonderful photographic exhibit features the beautiful residential architecture of the historic Miami neighborhood of Shenandoah.  Founded in 1919, the neighborhood features, lovely Mediterranean Revival, Mission, Spanish Cottage and Bungalow styles. Contemporary photos are matched with old photos of 25 properties which accompanied by a video and interpretive panels explaining the elements of Shenandoah’s architectural styles. The Learn About Where You Live Shenandoah exhibit is part of an initiative by Dade Heritage Trust to survey Miami’s historic urban corridors and educate residents and visitors about the architectural and cultural significance of these lovely neighborhoods. Thanks to the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Historical Resources; the City of Miami, Plusurbia, Little Gables Group, Original Impressions, Pedro Sanchez and the residents of Shenandoah for their contributions to this exhibit.  Kickin’ It Old School This original exhibit highlights Miami’s earliest schools with lovely historic images, text and artifacts.  Schools featured include Miss Harris’ School for Girls, the Redland Farmlife School, Miami High, Ransom Everglades, Coral Gables Elementary and many more! Kids of all ages and school alumni will enjoy this wonderful exhibit, curated by Donna Shelley and designed by Little Gables Group.  TREES  Miami boasts some of the most beautiful trees anywhere!  In addition to our wonderful natives, we welcome species from around the world that provide habitat for our native birds and bugs and tree-loving critters.  Our trees also provide us with a bounty of shade from the hot Miami sunshine, flowers and beautiful aromas.  Sadly, as Miami evolves, we are losing trees and the wildlife they embrace.  Miami, a place where trees grow year round and where trees can help mitigate the effects of sea level rise, has one of the lowest percentages of tree canopy of any large American city. This photography exhibit was presented to promote awareness of Miami’s urban tree scape.  Dade Heritage Trust promotes environmental preservation and believes that our residents, politicians and decision-makers should do more to protect our trees.  Let’s all plant more trees, pay more attention to our existing TREES and acknowledge their benefit to our community and Miami’s quality of life. Thanks to our exhibit partners and contributors: Logos:Tropical Treescapes, Million Trees Miami, TREEmendous Miami    Let Me Tell You About the Birds and the Bees A photography exhibit featuring Miami’s beautiful birds and gardens by Kirsten Hines Kirsten Hines is a wildlife photographer, writer and conservationist based in Coconut Grove. Growing up in the Philippines, she watched metropolitan Manila engulf coastal villages and rural landscapes. As the last brilliantly colored bird from her yard fell to a stranger’s slingshot, her love of nature transformed into a passion for environmental conservation. Drawing from this inspiration and from her education as a biologist, Kirsten’s photography highlights nature and wildlife around the world. Her photographic collections include Nature in Abstract, Nature and Travel, and South Florida Birds and Gardens. This exhibit featured a selection of images from her award-winning books, Birds of Fairchild and Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens. Her goal with this collection is to provide an intimate view of the birds and plants that might be found in a South Florida garden, to connect South Floridians to their non-human neighbors, and to inspire them toward bird-friendly landscaping. South Florida can be “re-greened”, one yard at a time.  Vanishing Miami

Miami-based photographer Larry Shane explores Miami’s iconic building and venues that have both been lost and are still here today to treasure.

   Florida Lost & Found

DHT presents the artwork of Ronald Shelley, at DHT headquarters, 190 SE 12 Terrace. 

About the Artist: Ronald Shelley has perfected his abilities as a professional illustrator and fine artist. His seemingly effortless style belies his mastery of the exacting watercolor technique. He has a keen understanding of perspective, design detail, and the play of light on objects. Ronald’s skills as an artist include graceful depictions of cabbage palms in the Everglades, dramatic tropical skies; long-gone railroad packing houses and barns; and the subtleties of Florida’s changing seasons.


Environmental Artist and AIRIE Artist Patricia Cummins

The exhibit featured paintings by Patricia Cummins, Environmental Artist and Artist-in-Residence for the National Park System. 

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this art exhibit showcased some of the plant species and communities found throughout the more than 400 national parks. From giant redwoods and aspen forests to endangered Virginia spiraea and water lilies, the national parks contain a diverse representation of the North American flora. Pat’s painting proudly represents Biscayne National Park.

   Stiltsville: Life on the Flats

Dade Heritage Trust welcomes you to Stiltsville:  Life on the Flats, an original exhibit featuring photography, artwork, personal stories and artifacts about Miami’s iconic watery neighborhood.  Curated by Miamian Donna Shelley and designed by Little Gables Group, the exhibit provides personal glimpses into the past present and future of these seven structures and the many structures that were once a part of Stiltsville.

Once privately owned and now a part of Biscayne National Park, Stiltsville continues to intrigue both visitors and long-time Miamians with stories of its raucous past, the impact of hurricanes and the contentious negotiations with the National Parks Service to “Save Old Stiltsville”.  This exhibit runs through October 15 and will feature a curator’s tour, film and a party inn early-autumn at Stiltsville to benefit Dade Heritage Trust and The Stiltsville Trust. 

Find Your Park Exhibit

Dade Heritage Trust presented the exhibit, Find Your Park, which featured student entries from Dade Heritage Trust’s Annual Art and Photography Contest. 

2016’s theme was South Florida’s National Parks.

unnamed Lemon City Little Haiti – A Sense of Time…A Sense of Place

This important exhibit, curated by Dr. Dorothy Fields, focused on the area of Miami once known as Lemon City, today’s Little Haiti.

Lemon City, though never incorporated, was one of the earliest settlements in the Miami area, with its history dating back to c.1870, when pioneers rushed to claim their share of land offered by the federal government through the Homestead Act. 

E.H. Harrington named the area for the lemon trees growing on his property, and the first use of the name “Lemon City” is recorded by the County in 1889.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has recently designated the Lemon City/Little Haiti corridor on NW 2nd Avenue as a National Main Street Center demonstration project.

Office Evolution

Dade Heritage Trust presented the exhibit, Office Evolution, that featured the story of Miami’s first physician, Dr. James Jackson and the history of the DHT office building that served as Dr. Jackson’s office from 1905 – 1916. Many thanks to curator Casey Piket and to exhibit design team Little Gables Group for their work in assembling this wonderful, informative exhibit.


  • Free admission to all Members Only Events
  • Advance notice and registration for workshops and seminars
  • Discount on DHT walking and bicycle tours
  • Discounts on Children’s Camps
  • Free admission to over 75 museums and institutions participating in the Southeasters Reciprocal Museum Program

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