Over the years, the condo became a home base for Levin’s family, relatives and friends recalled at his funeral last week. His seven grandchildren were running from the elevator to the front door. She decorated the walls with her photos. On Friday nights, they knew they had to attend her prized Shabbat dinners, in which she sometimes served homemade chicken rice. Friends were welcome to hang out on the beach and stay for the night.

Levin, 76, was buried on July 8 along with her two sons, Frank Kleiman, 55, who lived in unit 702, and Jay Kleiman, 52, who had been in town to attend a funeral. Also killed in the collapse were Frank Kleiman’s wife, Ana Ortiz, 46, and Ortiz’s son, Luis Bermúdez, 26.

The Atlantic is now visible from Collins Avenue, through the huge hole where Champlain Towers South was located. A massive building designed by star architect Renzo Piano casts a shadow from the side, its sheer size and gleaming luxury – the project was approved by the city of Miami Beach – a sharp contrast to tiny Surfside, which now lacks the building that used to be at the entrance of the town.

“For anyone who has spent a significant portion of their life in South Florida, one of their first thoughts will be: is this a combination of incompetence and corruption?” Spellman said of the collapse. “Unfortunately that’s the time and the way business is conducted here.”

But, around the same time, he noted that he rarely leaves the barrier island where he was born.

“When we graduated from high school, people would go to college, and I would say, ‘They’re going to end up here anyway; everyone ends up in Florida! ‘”he said. “Why leave? Is the paradise. Despite all the trials and tribulations, it is paradise. “

Giulia HeywardY Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs they collaborated with the reporter.

Patricia Mazzei is the head of the Miami correspondent, which covers Florida and Puerto Rico. Before joining The New York Times, she was a policy writer at The Miami Herald. He was born and raised in Venezuela. @PatriciaMazzei | Facebook