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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> 1960 to 1969 Miami Area Historical Photos Gallery - click on image to view > 1963 - aerial view of SENGRA's Miami Lakes development in NW Dade County (comments below)
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1963 - aerial view of SENGRAs Miami Lakes development in NW Dade County (comments below)
1963 SUS of Florida

1963 - aerial view of SENGRA's Miami Lakes development in NW Dade County (comments below)

Miami Lakes development, Dade County view map

An interesting view of SENGRA's Miami Lakes development east and south of the Palmetto Expressway. SENGRA stands for SENator GRAham. Ernest "Cap" Graham was a former state senator who bought all of the land after the Pennsylvania Sugar Co ceased operations in Pennsuco, a former municipality in Dade County out on US 27) after the 1926 hurricane.

The layout of the original Miami Lakes development was planned by Lester Collins with plenty of lakes, curving named (instead of numbered) streets, tot lot parks, plenty of shade trees, etc. As I recall, after repeatedly seeing the plans in SENGRA's office in the industrial park many years ago, the so-called "Master Plan" for Miami Lakes was changed several times over the years to reduce the number of single family homes and increase the density and profits by substituting town houses and apartments in their place.

In this photo, SENGRA has the Lake Patricia section pretty well developed, after they built the Palm Lakes section for home building experience in far north Hialeah from W. 76th Street northward west of W. 12th Avenue. The Miami Lakes Golf Course is in operation and the Loch Lomond area is ready for home building. The Miami Lakes Riding Academy is east of NW 67th Avenue and south of the Palmetto, where the Windmill Gate section is now. Miami Lakes Drive wasn't built yet in this photo; traffic had to use Fairway Drive and what is now Miami Lakeway North to get to NW 67th Avenue from the Palmetto and NW 154th Street. Vista Memorial Gardens, a cemetery, is already in operation. None of the lakes have been dug yet for neighborhoods west of NW 67th Avenue.

The grade level intersection entrance to the R&R-built Palm Sprngs North development is visible in the top left. That entrance roadway leading into Palm Springs North had a huge bronze open globe with a gas flame in the median of the road. Of course cars entering the 70mph speed limit Palmetto Expressway from a standing stop were a real hazard in addition to cars slowing down to make the 90 degree exit, especially if they used the median crossing to go eastbound on the Palmetto or exited left while going northbound/eastbound around the Big Curve.

SENGRA was later renamed to the Graham Companies. They also developed their land on the west side of the Palmetto and called it Miami Lakes too even though it looks nothing like the original development on the east side. The Lovell Brothers built their Royal Oaks development north of 154th Street on the west side of the Palmetto and just south of Palm Springs North. Other developers also built developments west of the Palmetto and north of 154th Street.

The Town of Miami Lakes was created in 2001 and includes the Graham-developed areas plus the additional developments that look nothing like the original Miami Lakes development. Miami Lakes has never extended north of the Palmetto Expressway, except for the section west of the Palmetto and east of I-75 that was incorporated into the Town of Miami Lakes when it was incorporated. However tens of thousands of people and businesses in the unincorporated areas north of the Palmetto, not including the Palm Springs North and Country Club of Miami developments, use the name of the development, and now the Town, as their residence or business location. I can understand why they didn't want to use the name Carol City which is east of them but they have never been in Miami Lakes. Back in the 1960's and 70's, there used to be state or county road signs at the NW 67th Avenue exits of the Palmetto pointing south with the term "New Town Miami Lakes" on them but those were torn down as developments started north of the Palmetto and people thought they too lived in Miami Lakes.

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Don Boyd08-Nov-2009 01:15
Johnny Rockets is a national chain with a restaurant on Main Street but it's not the restaurant you are thinking of. The restaurant you are thinking of was just east of Ludlam Road (NW 67 Ave) and was called "Crackers" when it opened. 50's motif inside with a fancy motorcycle on a pedestal inside among other 50's stuff. I thought it was a great place with good food. I believe it opened in the late 1970's. It failed after a couple of years if that long. After many other owners and names, it is now "Rendezvous on the Lakes" and they've had late night problems galore with patrons misbehaving outside drawing many complaints from nearby residents. I believe the owners were forced to hire extra off-duty police officers and the problems were resolved.

Here's a link with the building up for sale and photo of the building, dated December (what year?):

ken 08-Nov-2009 00:12
looking for the name of a resturant of a Miami Vice type of place that was popular in Miami Lakes in the 1980's not sure of the name Rocketts? Johnny's? it was 2 story,alot of glass and chrome with a 1950's theme.very popular and a large to know the name.