Hialeah (pronounced/ˌhaɪəˈliːə/) is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, Hialeah has a population of 224,669. Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in the state, and is a major municipality within Greater Miami.
Hialeah has the highest percentage of Cuban and Cuban American residents of any city in the United States, at 74% of the population, making them a distinctive and prominent feature of the city's culture.
Hialeah also has one of the largest Spanish-speaking communities in the country. In 2000, 92% of residents reported speaking Spanish at home, and the language is an important part of daily life in the city. This has attracted many companies to Hialeah, such as Telemundo, the second largest Spanish-language television network in the United States, which is headquartered in the city.
Hialeah is served by the Miami Metrorail at Okeechobee, Hialeah, and Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer stations. The Okeechobee and Hialeah stations serve primarily as park-and-ride commuter stations to commuters and residents going into Downtown Miami, and Tri-Rail station to Miami International Airport and north to West Palm Beach.
|City of Hialeah|
|Nickname(s): "The City of Progress"|
Location in Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits prior to most recent annexation
The city's name is most commonly attributed to Muskogee origin, "Haiyakpo" (prairie) and "hili" (pretty) combining in "Hialeah" to mean "pretty prairie". Alternatively, the word is of Seminole origin meaning "Upland Prairie". The city is located upon a large prairie between Biscayne Bay and the Everglades.
The Seminole interpretation of its name, "High Prairie", evokes a picture of the grassy plains used by the native Indians coming from the everglades to dock their canoes and display their wares for the newcomers of Miami. This "high prairie" caught the eye of pioneer aviator Glenn Curtiss and Missouri cattleman James H. Bright in 1921. Together, they developed not only the town of Hialeah but also Hialeah Park Race Track.
In the early "Roaring '20s", Hialeah produced significant entertainment contributions. Sporting included the Spanish sport of jai alai and greyhound racing, and media included silent movies like D. W. Griffith's The White Rose which was made at the Miami Movie Studios located in Hialeah. However, the 1926 Miami hurricane brought many of these things to an end.
In the years since its incorporation in 1921, many historical events and people have been associated with Hialeah. The opening of the horse racing course at Hialeah Park Race Track in 1925 (which was nicknamed the "Grand Dame") received more coverage in the Miami media than any other sporting event in the history of Miami up to that time and since then there have been countless horse racing histories played out at the world famous 220-acre (0.89 km2) park. It was considered one of the most grand of thoroughbred horse racing parks with its majestic Mediterranean style architecture and was considered the Jewel of Hialeah at the time.
The Park's grandeur has attracted millions, included among them are names known around the world such as theKennedy family, Harry Truman, General Omar Bradley, Winston Churchill, and J. P. Morgan. The Hialeah Park Race Track also holds the dual distinction of being an Audubon Bird Sanctuary due to its famous pink flamingos and being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart in 1937 said her final good-byes to the continental U.S. from Hialeah as she left on her ill-fated flight around the world in 1937.
While Hialeah was once envisioned as a playground for the elite, Cuban exiles, fleeing Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution as well as World War II veterans and city planners transformed the city into a working-class community. Hialeah historian Patricia Fernández-Kelly explained "It became an affordable Eden." She further describes the city as "a place where different groups have left their imprint while trying to create a sample of what life should be like." Several waves of Cuban exiles, starting after the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and continuing through to the Freedom Flights from 1965–1973, the Mariel boatlift in 1980, and the Balseros or boat people of the late 1990s, created what at least one expert has considered the most economically successful immigrant enclave in U.S. history as Hialeah is the only American industrial city that continues to grow.
From a population of 1,500 in 1925, Hialeah has grown at a rate faster than most of the ten largest cities in the State of Florida since the 1960s and holds the rank of Florida's fifth-largest city, with more than 224,000 residents. The city is also one of the largest employers in Dade County. Predominantly Hispanic, Hialeah residents are characterized as having assimilated their cultural heritage and traditions into a hard-working and diverse community proud of its ethnicity and family oriented neighborhoods.
In January 2009, Forbes magazine listed Hialeah as one of the most boring cities in the United States citing the city's large population and anonymity in the national media.
Hialeah is located at(25.860474, -80.293971).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.7 square miles (51 km2). 19.2 square miles (50 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (2.53%) is water.