Opa-locka, Florida
Overview
 
Opa-locka is a city located in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

, United States. As of the mid decade census, the population was 15,376 as recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Opa-locka has an area of 4.2 square miles (10.9 km²) and is located in the northeastern area of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The city was developed by Glenn Curtiss
Glenn Curtiss
Glenn Hammond Curtiss was an American aviation pioneer and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry. He began his career as a bicycle then motorcycle builder and racer, later also manufacturing engines for airships as early as 1906...

 and was based on the One Thousand and One Nights theme, with streets that have names like Sabur Lane, Sultan Avenue, Ali Baba Avenue, Parviz Avenue and Sesame Street.
Encyclopedia
Opa-locka is a city located in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

, United States. As of the mid decade census, the population was 15,376 as recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Opa-locka has an area of 4.2 square miles (10.9 km²) and is located in the northeastern area of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The city was developed by Glenn Curtiss
Glenn Curtiss
Glenn Hammond Curtiss was an American aviation pioneer and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry. He began his career as a bicycle then motorcycle builder and racer, later also manufacturing engines for airships as early as 1906...

 and was based on the One Thousand and One Nights theme, with streets that have names like Sabur Lane, Sultan Avenue, Ali Baba Avenue, Parviz Avenue and Sesame Street. Opa-locka has the largest collection of Moorish Revival architecture in the Western hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

.

The name Opa-locka is a contraction of a Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 name for the area, "Opa-tisha-woka-locka", meaning "The high land north of the little river on which there is a camping place."

History

Opa-locka was founded by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss
Glenn Curtiss
Glenn Hammond Curtiss was an American aviation pioneer and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry. He began his career as a bicycle then motorcycle builder and racer, later also manufacturing engines for airships as early as 1906...

 in 1926. Curtiss originally called the city Opa-tisha-woka-locka, but quickly shortened the name to Opa-locka. Curtiss developed the city with a Moorish architecture
Moorish architecture
Moorish architecture is the western term used to describe the articulated Berber-Islamic architecture of North Africa and Al-Andalus.-Characteristic elements:...

 theme. While the 1926 Miami hurricane
1926 Miami Hurricane
The 1926 Miami hurricane was a Category 4 hurricane that devastated Miami in September 1926. The storm also caused significant damage in the Florida Panhandle, the U.S. state of Alabama, and the Bahamas...

 badly damaged the city and brought the Florida land boom
Florida land boom of the 1920s
The Florida land boom of the 1920s was Florida's first real estate bubble, which burst in 1925, leaving behind entire new cities and the remains of failed development projects such as Aladdin City in south Miami-Dade County and Isola di Lolando in north Biscayne Bay...

 to a halt, several Moorish-style buildings survived.

Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Mary Earhart was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean...

 launched her historic trip around the world from Miami Municipal Airport
Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport , also known as MIA and historically Wilcox Field, is the primary airport serving the South Florida area...

, just south of Opa-locka. The famous German dirigible Graf Zeppelin
LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin
LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin was a German built and operated passenger-carrying hydrogen-filled rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a Graf or Count in the German nobility. During its operating life,...

visited the NAS Miami, which later became Opa-locka Airport
Opa-locka Airport
Opa-locka Airport , also known as Opa-locka Executive Airport, is a general aviation airport and joint civil-military airfield 10 miles north of Downtown Miami, primarily in metropolitan Miami, Florida, United States, with a portion within the city proper of Opa-locka.The airport's control tower...

, as a regular stop on its Germany-Brazil-United States-Germany scheduled route.

Geography

Opa-locka is located at 25.901218°N 80.250824°W.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.7 km²). 4.3 square miles (11.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square mile (0.258998811 km²) of it (3.13%) is water.

Surrounding areas

Miami Gardens, Florida
Miami Gardens, Florida
Miami Gardens is a Miami suburban city located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The city name comes from one of the major roadways through the area, Miami Gardens Drive. According to the 2010 U.S...

  • Unincorporated Miami-Dade County
    Miami-Dade County, Florida
    Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

     
    Golden Glades
    Golden Glades, Florida
    Golden Glades is a census-designated place in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population was 32,623 at the 2000 census.It is the location for a major highway interchange of the same name which connects the Florida Turnpike, Interstate 95, US 441, State Road 9, and the Palmetto...

  • Unincorporated Miami-Dade County
    Miami-Dade County, Florida
    Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

      Golden Glades
    Golden Glades, Florida
    Golden Glades is a census-designated place in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population was 32,623 at the 2000 census.It is the location for a major highway interchange of the same name which connects the Florida Turnpike, Interstate 95, US 441, State Road 9, and the Palmetto...

     Hialeah, Florida
    Hialeah, Florida
    Hialeah is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 226,419. As of 2009, the population estimate by the U. S...

      North Miami
    North Miami, Florida
    North Miami is a suburban city located in northeast Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, about north of Miami. The city lies on Biscayne Bay and hosts the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University, and the North Miami campus of Johnson & Wales University...

     Hialeah
    Hialeah, Florida
    Hialeah is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 226,419. As of 2009, the population estimate by the U. S...

    , Westview
    Westview, Florida
    As of the census of 2000, there were 9,692 people, 2,914 households, and 2,235 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,109.2 people per square mile . There were 3,111 housing units at an average density of 998.0/sq mi...


Demographics

As of the census of the 2007 mid-decade census, there were 15,376 people, 5,190 households, and approximately 4,000 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,451.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,333.2/km2). There were 5,407 housing units at an average density of 1,248.4 per square mile (482.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 22.83% White (3.1% non-Hispanic Whites), 69.64% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.60% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 3.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.55% of the population.

There were 5,190 households out of which 41.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.4% were married couples living together, 35.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.97 and the average family size was 3.52. Documented is the city's emphasis toward homeownership, where the homestead exemption has increased with construction of a planned townhouse community in the city. Also available is reasonable availability of rental units throughout the city.

The city's population is spread out with 34.6% under the age of 18, 12.3% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.1 males; this being consistent with most bedroom communities in South Florida.

An increase in the median income is projected wherein a household in the city will move from $25,000 to $32,000 and the median income for a family from $27,420 to 32,000. Males had a median income of $22,347 versus $19,270 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city is approximately $15,000. About 31.5% of families and 35.2% of the population are rising above the poverty line, including 42.3% of those under age 18 and 40.8% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2000, speakers of English as a first language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

 accounted for 68.44%, while Spanish made up 28.29%, French Creole 2.77%, and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 was at 0.47% of the population.

As of 2000, Opa-locka had the forty-sixth highest percentage of Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

n residents in the US, with 9.58% of its populace. It had the forty-ninth highest percentage of Dominican
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

 residents in the US, at 2.59% of the city's population, and the fifty-second highest percentage of Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

an residents in the US, at 2.9% of the its population (tied with four other areas, including Palm Springs, Florida
Palm Springs, Florida
Palm Springs is a village in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 11,699 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 14,690.-Geography:Palm Springs is located at ....

). It also had the forty-third most Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

ns in the US, at 3% (tied with Margate
Margate, Florida
Margate is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 53,284. It is part of the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is home to 5,564,635 people.-Geography:...

,) while it had the nineteenth highest percentage of Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

ns, at 2.22% of all residents.

Government

The city of Opa-locka was incorporated in 1926 and operates under a Commission/City Manager form of government. The City Commission consists of the Mayor and four Commissioners, who are responsible for enacting ordinances, resolutions and regulations governing the City; and appointing the members of various advisory boards, the City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk. As Chief Administrative Officer, the City Manager is responsible for the enforcement of laws and ordinances, and the appointment and supervision of the City's department heads. Municipal services include police, sanitation, water and sewer services, storm water services, maintenance of streets and infrastructure, and recreational activities. The financial reporting entity, under which the financial statements are prepared, includes all the activities and functions for which the City is financially accountable. The Opa-locka Police Department (OLPD) protects the city.

Calvin Godfrey of the Miami New Times
Miami New Times
The Miami New Times is a free weekly newspaper published in Miami and distributed every Thursday. It primarily serves the Miami area and is headquartered near Miami's Design District.-Overview:...

said that the police department had been "steadily deteriorating" for the twenty year period leading up to 2009. The police force decreased from 50 to 16. The Miami New Times received memorandums which, in Godfrey's words, "reveal an agency rife with controversy." In January 2005, after negative Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is a Florida government agency. FDLE is composed of five programs: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism, and the Florida Capitol Police...

 evaluations of the Opa-locka police force surfaced, the Miami-Dade Police Department
Miami-Dade Police Department
The Miami-Dade Police Department , formerly known as the Metro-Dade County Police Department , Dade County Public Safety Department and the Dade County Sheriff's Office is a Limited Service County Police Department serving Miami-Dade County, Florida's unincorporated areas, although they have...

 sent county commissioner Barbara Jordan a report that stated that it would cost $7 million per period to take over the Opa-locka police duties. In 2005 Opa-locka allocated $3.5 million to its officers. Jannie Beverly, the city manager of Opa-locka, fired James Wright, the police chief, in January 2008 after people accused Wright of corruption.

Crime

In 2004 Opa-locka had the highest rate of violent crime for any city in the United States. Calvin Godfrey of the Miami New Times
Miami New Times
The Miami New Times is a free weekly newspaper published in Miami and distributed every Thursday. It primarily serves the Miami area and is headquartered near Miami's Design District.-Overview:...

said in a 2009 article that Opa-locka was "mired in crime and sinking fast."

Religion

By 1996 Opa-locka became the site of 30 houses of worship. During that year Oscar Musibay of the Miami New Times
Miami New Times
The Miami New Times is a free weekly newspaper published in Miami and distributed every Thursday. It primarily serves the Miami area and is headquartered near Miami's Design District.-Overview:...

said "Like South Beach
South Beach
South Beach, also nicknamed SoBe, is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida, United States. It is the area south of Indian Creek and encompasses roughly the southernmost 23 blocks of the main barrier island that separates the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay.This area was the first...

 has hotels, Opa-locka has churches."

In popular culture

  • Opa-locka is featured in the landmark documentary film
    Documentary film
    Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

     Salesman.
  • In the 1991 film Soapdish
    Soapdish
    Soapdish is a 1991 comedy film which tells a backstage story of the cast and crew of a popular fictional television soap opera. It stars Sally Field as an aging soap star, joined by Kevin Kline, Robert Downey, Jr., Elisabeth Shue, Whoopi Goldberg, Teri Hatcher, Cathy Moriarty, Garry Marshall, Kathy...

    , the leading character played by Kevin Kline
    Kevin Kline
    Kevin Delaney Kline is an American theatre, voice, film actor and comedian. He has won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards, and has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards and an Emmy Award.- Early life :...

     is a down-and-out actor reduced to drunkenly performing the role of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman
    Death of a Salesman
    Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Premiered at the Morosco Theatre in February 1949, the original production ran for a total of 742 performances.-Plot :Willy Loman...

    at the fictitious "Opa-Locka Dinner Theater."
  • An instrumental song on Hawkwind
    Hawkwind
    Hawkwind are an English rock band, one of the earliest space rock groups. Their lyrics favour urban and science fiction themes. They are also a noted precursor to punk rock and now are considered a link between the hippie and punk cultures....

    's 1976 album Warrior on the Edge of Time
    Warrior on the Edge of Time
    Warrior on the Edge of Time is Hawkwind's fifth studio album. It reached #13 on the UK album charts and was their third and last album to make the US Billboard chart, where it peaked at #150...

    is named "Opa-Loka", but any connection to the town is unclear. The song eventually had lyrics added to it on a later album (PXR5
    PXR5
    PXR5 is the ninth studio album by Hawkwind, released in 1979. It reached #59 on the UK album charts.-Overview:The album was recorded and mixed at Rockfield Studios in January and February 1978. "Uncle Sam's On Mars", "Robot" and "High Rise" were originally recorded on the preceding UK tour but were...

    ) and morphed into "Uncle Sam's on Mars".
  • In 1970, Mary Ann Vecchio
    Mary Ann Vecchio
    Mary Ann Vecchio was the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph by photojournalism student John Filo in the aftermath of the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970....

     a teenage runaway from Opa-locka, was in Kent, Ohio on the day of the Kent State shootings
    Kent State shootings
    The Kent State shootings—also known as the May 4 massacre or the Kent State massacre—occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970...

     on May 4, 1970. The image of Vecchio, kneeling by the body of a slain Kent State student by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, also known as "the Trib," is the second largest daily newspaper serving metropolitan Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the United States...

    freelancer John Filo
    John Filo
    John Paul Filo took the 1970 Pulitzer Prize winning photo of a 14-year-old runaway girl , crying while kneeling over the body of 20-year-old Jeffrey Miller, one of the victims of the Kent State shootings...

    , which later won a Pulitzer Prize
    Pulitzer Prize
    The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

    , was transmitted worldwide after the event occurred.
  • Opa-locka is mentioned in the 1995 action movie The Substitute
    The Substitute
    The Substitute is a 1996 action-crime-thriller film directed by Robert Mandel and starring Tom Berenger, Ernie Hudson, Marc Anthony, William Forsythe, Raymond Cruz, and Luis Guzmán.-Plot:...

    by a black student who is being disciplined by Tom Berenger
    Tom Berenger
    Tom Berenger is an American actor known mainly for his roles in action films.-Early life:Berenger was born as Thomas Michael Moore in Chicago to an Irish Catholic family. Berenger's father was a printer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Berenger has a sister, Susan...

    .

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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