Building Eden

The Beginning of Miami-Dade County's Visionary Park System

Book Description

Building Eden: The Beginning of Miami-Dad County's Visionary Park System is a concise and evocative introduction to the two men most responsible for the development of South Florida's earliest parks and their beginnings as roadside improvements to what is today the nation's third largest county park system. Building Eden tells the story of Depression-era Miami and two pivotal figures who came together to build South Florida's most iconic parks.


Essays by editor Rocco Ceo and Joanna Lombard, the authors of Florida's Historic Landscapes, give context to the era and motivations of the county's first parks director, A.D. Barnes, and his leading designer and associate of the Olmsted Brothers firm, William Lyman Phillips. Original essays by Barnes and Phillips offer their own reflections, and renowned naturalist Roger Hammer brings this original narrative to the present day to provide an understanding of how and why these parks are unique.


Profusely illustrated with archival photographs, as well as new views by award-winning photographer and book designer Steven Brooke, Building Eden also features new drawings of these memorable legacy parks.

About Ceo, Rocco

Steven Danforth Singer has been diving for over 30 years, first in New Jersey, where he grew up, and now in Florida, where he has been a certified scuba instructor and has worked on a number of archaeological and treasure salvage projects. He earned his bachelor's degree in environmental science from New England College and has studied underwater archaeology at Nova University. He has worked as an associate editor for Treasure Quest magazine and writes for other dive-related publications. He is president of the nonprofit Marine Archaeological Council, Inc.

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