The Real Deal Miami

Historical artifacts found in downtown Miami

Tequesta dwellings, Royal Palm Hotel remains at Met Square site

February 04, 2014 11:15AM

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Royal Palm Hotel

Royal Palm Hotel

Archaeologists have discovered what they believe are remnants of Tequesta Indian dwellings dating back up to 2,000 years at the downtown Miami site of the Met Square project.

Led by South Florida archaeologist Bob Carr, thousands of Tequesta artifacts and pieces of Florida pioneer Henry Flagler’s Royal Palm Hotel have been found at the two-acre Met Square site, the Miami Herald reported. MDM Development Group has zoning and development approvals to build a movie theater, restaurants and 34-story hotel on the site.

The latest discoveries could significantly alter current project plans, however. The City of Miami has not given MDM a final building permit. State and Miami-Dade County historic preservation officials want the city to consider alternatives that would save at least some of the archaeological site.

MDM, which hired Carr to conduct the mandated archaeological survey, has leases in places for the movie theater, restaurants and hotel. It has offered to carve out limestone holding one or two of the larger circles on the site and display them publicly. [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis

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