Our Positions at the Nov 10th 2020 Historic Preservation Board

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MDPL’s Advocacy Committee has reviewed the following applications and offers these findings for your consideration. Please note, the lack of a position on a project does not indicate support or opposition to that project.

Full Board Agenda Link: click here


HPB19-0349, 910 Marseille Drive and 7116 Bay Drive

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MDPL Advocacy Position 7/10/20

MDPL continues to 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.”

Continued Items

HPB20-0381, 928 Ocean Drive

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MDPL supports the staff recommendations.

HPB20-0420, 1030 6th Street

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MDPL continues to have concerns about this project that should be addressed before moving forward. The proposed structure is not compatible with the historic buildings on the site. At present, the north facade of the parking structure is more compatible with the historic buildings than the proposed hotel addition. If the hotel addition was 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 do not 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.

HPB20-0378, 4360 & 4370 Collins Avenue

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MDPL supports the staff recommendations

Modifications to Previously Approved Board Order

HPB20-0389, 3425 Collins Avenue (Versailles Hotel)

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MDPL opposes the eastern expansion and alteration of the eastern facade of the Versailles tower. The applicant’s proposal destroys the integrity of the eastern facade and divorces it from the original design of the tower. The vertical emphasis is lost. The basic shape of the eastern part of the building is obscured.

The eastern facade is equal in importance to the street elevation. Indeed, there is an interplay between the eastern and western facades that:

  • Employs the same design elements and reinterprets them, thereby giving the tower two distinct, but complementary facades.
  • Contributes substantially to the architectural character of the area as seen from the beach and the beach walk. In other words, the alteration of the eastern facades diminishes the historic site and environment.  

In short, the proposed alteration of the eastern facade destroys the design unity of the tower and is the exact opposite to the Interior Secretary’s standards by

  • Altering the historic character of the Versailles instead of retaining the historic eastern facade.
  • Altering features, spaces and spatial relationships that characterize the Versailles tower instead of restoring them.
  • Altering the site and environment, thereby diminishing the historic character of the area as seen from the beach.

PS – to download the Versailles Hotel Historic Resources Report, click here. Please note the east elevation and compare that to the new proposal, which would largely erase the historical elements to the east – even going so far as replacing corner windows with curved windows.


HPB20-0433, 700 Lincoln Road

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MDPL supports the staff recommendations to deny the application.


Palm View Neighborhood Study

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MDPL opposes the de-designation of the Palm View Neighborhood. In addition, MDPL questions the validity of the report being presented to the HPB:

  • Stakeholders were cherry-picked and did not involve the historic preservation community or other interested parties within Palm View who do not support the de-designation efforts of a small group of owners.
  • Only resiliency factors for historic preservation are cited. Secretary of Interior Standards are not considered.
  • National guidelines and city regulations for historic preservation were either ignored or not consulted.
  • Attempts to redefine designation criteria to the “Carl Fisher era” is outside of standard practices. They are also contrary to Miami Beach historic preservation statutes that stipulate architectural evolution is an evaluation factor. 
  • The Historic Designation Report for the neighborhood highlights the concentration of three major architectural styles of single-family homes: Mediterranean, Art Deco, and Miami Modern. Therefore, removing two of these styles from significance would go against the purposes for which the district was created.
  • Such conclusions of the Consultant study are counter to the spirit and letter of the city’s historic preservation statutes and national preservation guidelines. 
  • The existing Historic Preservation Board process includes resiliency criteria. The established framework, which was updated over the last several years to incorporate resiliency, is a model for other municipalities and gives clear resiliency criteria to be considered along with certificate of appropriateness criteria.

MDPL appreciates the Board’s attention in these matters.

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