Our Positions at the Oct 13 2020 Historic Preservation Board

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Webinar link: https://miamibeachfl-gov.zoom.us/j/89999066738, or dial in via telephone 888-475-4499 (toll free), webinar ID: 899 9906 6738. Members of the public wishing to speak on an item during the meeting, must click the “raise hand” icon if using the Zoom app or press *9 on the telephone to “raise hand”. Members of the public who do not have access to a computer and wish to provide testimony and/or submit evidence in support of or in opposition to an item scheduled to be heard may appear in-person, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Washington Avenue Entrance, Art Deco Room 229 Miami Beach, FL 33139, at which location access to a computer will be provided.

MEMORANDUM

October 12th 2020

TO: Chair and Members, Historic Preservation Board

FROM: Advocacy Committee, Miami Design Preservation League

SUBJECT: Applications before the Board on October 13th 2020

MDPL’s Advocacy Committee has reviewed the following applications and offers these findings for your consideration. The underlined portions are new or amended positions. Please note, we were not able to review all projects on this agenda. The lack of a position on a project does not indicate support or opposition to that project.

Full Board Agenda Link: 

https://miamibeach.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=749&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda

Request FOR CONTINUANCES / WITHDRAWALS

3. HPB19-0349, 910 Marseille Drive and 7116 Bay Drive

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MDPL Advocacy Position 7/10/20

We oppose the design of the proposed new building based on non-compliance with criteria (including setback, height, etc). Ordinance is supposed to apply to preservation of contributing buildings, but this is a vacant lot which is unifying title with adjacent historic structure. NPS Standard #9, new construction shall be distinct and compatible with historic district buildings. Concern about compatibility in design features with the surrounding district. “New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.”

4. HPB19-0365, 1225 & 1235 Lenox Avenue

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MDPL Advocacy Position 6/20/20

MDPL continues to oppose the demolition of 1235 Lenox Avenue until an additional, independent engineering evaluation may be conducted that takes into account historic preservation incentives which include restoration and rehabilitation that are not subject to certain regulations for new construction. 

5. HPB20-0381, 928 Ocean Drive

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Other Business

6. HPB20-0435, North Shore Historic District Tatum Waterway Expansion

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Continued Items

7. HPB20-0378, 4360 & 4370 Collins Avenue

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8. HPB20-0390, 4441 Collins Avenue

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MDPL Advocacy Position on above two items (related to the Fontainebleau new garage/ballroom and pedestrian bridge concept): We support the staff recommendations

9. HPB20-0417, 700 Lincoln Road

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MDPL Advocacy Position: We support the historic restoration of the building and the alleyway changes on the south side of the building.  MDPL believes that the original doors, bays, grillwork should be preserved and not replaced with windows as currently proposed, especially since the tenant has not requested this change and these historical elements appear to be authentic.

10. HPB20-0421 a.k.a. HPB18-0264, 800 Lincoln Road

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MDPL Advocacy Position 9-4-20: We support the staff recommendation

11. HPB20-0418, 826 Meridian Avenue

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MDPL Advocacy Position 9-4-20: We oppose the demolition of the garage, which is a contributing structure on the property..

12. HPB20-0419, 635 Lenox Avenue

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MDPL Advocacy Position 9-4-20: We support the staff recommendation

13. HPB20-0377, 3120 Collins Avenue (Generator Hotel)

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MDPL Advocacy Committee 10/9/2020: We Support the staff recommendation. We are thankful to the property owners who made a re-design which honors and preserves the existing contributing garage and makes for an overall enhanced project.

Advocacy Position from prior design proposal:

MDPL opposes the demolition of the garage building for 3127 Indian Creek Drive as proposed by the applicant. MDPL believes that this structure in concert with the residence is an essential element of both the architectural and social history of the city. Its demolition will:

  • Result in the loss of a substantially intact estate that is illustrative of the early development of Miami Beach.
  • Substantially alter the scale of the block, with proposed new construction dwarfing the residence and making it appear out of context despite its primacy in time and place. (Currently, two thirds of the site is on the scale of the residence; the proposed new construction will reverse that ratio.) 
  • Conflict with the Interior Secretary’s standard that “requires minimal change to the building and its site and environment.” In this application, the proposed demolition will also adversely affect the residence and the city block.

Should the garage building be retained and rehabilitated, it will serve as an example of adaptive use of historic structures and help visitors (especially hotel guests) understand the architectural evolution of Miami Beach. 

The importance of the buildings located at 3127 Indian Creek Drive to both the architectural development and history of Miami Beach was established by the City Planning Department in the Collins Waterfront Designation Report (August 2000).

  • Architectural Significance: “Built in 1926 and designed by Robertson and Patterson, this residence (3127 Indian Creek Drive) is an excellent example of the Mediterranean Revival style of architecture with a Moorish influence.”
  • Historical Significance:  “Here returning combat veterans would spend two to three weeks of “R&R” while their pay was calculated, records processed, and they were either discharged or reassigned. Many of the returnees had been missing in action or prisoners of war.” (It is very possible that its use as a soldier’s temporary quarters led to the next chapter of the structure when Mrs. Augusta Schott rented rooms in the residence in post World War II Miami Beach.)

In 2016 (file #7602), the City’s historic preservation staff found that the garage was “substantially intact.” The staff analysis also established the garage’s integral relationship to the residence and called for its restoration. HPB then agreed to alterations to the garage as part of repair of the building. 

These alterations are among those cited by the present applicant as reasons for its demolition. MDPL maintains that these alterations may be reversed without compromising the integrity of the structure.

14. HPB20-0386, 7835 Harding Avenue

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Advocacy Position 6/20/20: The loss of this vernacular building is another step in erasing a segment of the City’s architectural evolution. Historic preservation as defined by City statute and the Secretary’s guidelines indicate that structures which are representative of an era or a style are essential to understanding the architectural development and history of Miami Beach.

NEW APPLICATIONS

15. HPB20-0420, 1030 6th Street

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MDPL Position 10/9/20: Support the staff recommendation. The proposed structure is not compatible with the historic buildings on the site. If the structure were reduced in size and presented more of a concrete facade vs a glass facade, it would be much more compatible with the historic building. We are concerned about potential impacts of the hotel on the residential neighborhood. For example, the existing buildings don’t have balconies, and we are not sure if the balconies would be sympathetic to the existing combination of historic buildings, which do not have balconies.

16. HPB20-0422, 828 4th Street

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MDPL Position 10/9/20: We support Staff and we support project. It is a significant improvement from a prior proposal which had an insensitive multi-story addition taking up a large part of the site.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

17. Faena District Overlay – Ordinance

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MDPL Position 10/9/20: We oppose the height increase for this property. A building proposed at 250’ would overwhelm the historic Versailles skyscraper and the surrounding historic beachfront. 

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