Thursday, March 13, 2014

The way we were...poet Robert Frost honored with a highway

Robert Frost.
Back in March 1966, a group called the City of Miami Beautification Committee asked that a highway in Florida be named for the late poet, Robert Frost.

Frost wintered in Miami for some 25 years, and lectured at the University of Miami. He had a home in South Miami on SW 53rd Ave. he called "Pencil Pines."

Frost, who won four Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry, died in 1963 at the age of 88.

In June 1966, the Miami News editorialized: "We're all for honoring this great American poet who made Miami his home. But an expressway? Robert Frost? The poet whose volumes are named, Witness Tree, West Running Brook, Steeple Bush, etc.? Please don't. Isn't there a park somewhere in need of a name?"

But the Legislature went ahead anyway, and in 1967 it named a section of the Airport Expressway - "a superhighway that is perhaps the busiest in [Dade] County" - after Frost.

St. Petersburg Times, April 2, 1967.
(Click to enlarge.)

In 1999, Miami Herald reporter Arnold Markowitz went looking any evidence that the Robert Frost Highway actually existed: "State Road 112, the original Airport Expressway, was named the Dewey Knight Jr. Memorial Highway in 1996 for a beloved public servant who died in '95. No disrespect was intended for beloved poet Robert Frost, whose name had been given to the same road in '67. He just has to share it now.
"If you notice a sign mentioning Knight or Frost on the Airport Expressway, you aren't driving carefully enough. Maybe there aren't any..."

H/T: Curbed Miami

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