NOAA Miami Regional Library at AOML

A Branch of the NOAA Central Library

Ground Breaking

The AOML site chosen was north of Rickenbacker Causeway and west of the NOAA/NMFS/ Southeast Fisheries Science Center. The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marina and Atmospheric Science and the Miami Seaquarium were to the south across Rickenbacker Causeway. The Miami Marine Stadium and Planet Ocean were to the west. The area became a center for oceanographic studies.


Ground breaking as Harris B. Stewart (AOML/Director) looks on (October 10, 1970).


Dr. Harris B. Stewart (AOML/Director) holding the golden ground breaking shovel during a TV interview at the AOML site (October 10, 1970). The NOAA/NMFS/Southeast Fisheries Science Center is at the far left.


Golden shovel used during groundbreaking at the AOML site on October 10, 1970 (2017). The shovel is a NOAA Heritage Artifact. In 2017, it was located on the north side of the AOML lobby balcony.

Ground breaking at the AOML site took place on October 10, 1970. The golden shovel used by Harris B. Stewart is part of the NOAA Heritage Artifact and is currently on display at AOML along the inner second floor balcony of the lobby.


Sign at the AOML groundbreaking ceremony (October 10, 1970). Architects – Engineers – Planners: Ferendino – Grafton – Pancoast, Coral Gables, FL. General Contractor: Shafer & Miller, Miami, FL. Work Administered by Southern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering.


Dr. Harris B. Stewart (AOML/Director) and Jack Kofoed (AOML) in front of the AOML maquette during the groundbreaking ceremony (1969).


Architects and AOML maquette in front of the finished building (1970s).


Artist illustration of AOML.

Ferendino – Grafton – Pancoast, Coral Gables, FL, were the architectural firm that designed AOML. The firm also designed several buildings in the Miami area. The general contractor firm was Shafer & Miller, Miami, FL supervised by the US Navy Southern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering. A maquette and an artist’s rendition of AOML were created prior to construction of the building.

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