• Impact glass giant Raul Casares, who ‘changed the South Florida skyline,’ dies at 82

    Raul Casares, the president of one of the nation’s largest window and sliding glass door companies, and his daughter Ingrid, the South Beach nightclub impresario who was so close to Madonna she could call the superstar simply “M,” used to drive along Brickell Avenue and play Spot the Glass.

    “We used to drive after every hurricane and look at all the windows that broke and none were his,” Ingrid Casares said hours after her father died Friday, Dec. 2, at 82 of complications from Alzheimer’s. When the pair spotted the holes pockmarked in buildings where glass once stood, Raul Casares would say, “That’s not mine. We’ll get this one.”

    That wasn’t idle boasting. “As Miami evolved into an urban city over the past 25 years, Raul understood that even the best-designed buildings must be built to last. When we built Bristol Tower on Brickell Avenue in the early ’90s, it was one of the only buildings to not sustain any damage from Hurricane Andrew. We didn’t lose one pane of glass,” said developer Ugo Colombo. “Raul’s work helped define our skyline, allowing developers to build taller, stronger, more beautiful buildings.”

    Casares’ handiwork as president of R.C. Aluminum Industries in Miami graced numerous high rises in South Florida. Among them: the Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, the Santa Maria skyscraper on Brickell, the Il Villaggio, Apogee and Portofino buildings on South Beach, the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, a series of Grand Bay residences on Longboat Key near Naples, the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort and a 22-story office building in La Paz, Bolivia. (more…)

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