Why should we concern ourselves with the past and the concept of historic preservation?
Historic buildings, districts, and neighborhoods embody the lives of those who built, worked, and lived in them. They tell stories about what a place was and connect us to our past.
From its earliest days as a residential suburb, to its iconic role as a haven for Cuban Americans, to its more recent role as a home to immigrants from Central America and the Caribbean, Little Havana has been shaped by people striving to build a better life for themselves and their families.
Declared a “national treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Calle Ocho buzzes with art, history and culture. It was important I captured it with the fear of future generations might not be able to experience it.
The neighborhood currently faces a range of threats, including development pressure, demolition of historic buildings, displacement of existing residents, and zoning changes that could impact its affordability, cultural richness, and character.
History can be as parochial as one’s family lineage, or as global as planetary evolution. Between these two extremes reside most of the events that have made us who we are and will influence who we are to become.
These are things that are worthy of preservation.
Back in 2020, visual artist Ilsse Peredo did a photographic documentation of the people of Little Havana to capture the soul of the heart of Miami.
The Calle 8cho Series is made to preserve the past and shape the future.