Our positions at the Dec 8th 2020 Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board

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MDPL’s Advocacy Committee has reviewed the following applications and offers our below positions. Please note, the lack of a position on a project does not indicate support or opposition to that project.

Editors Note: Items with blue highlighting were shared previously, while items with yellow highlight are new/updated positions.

Full HPB Board Agenda Link: click here


2. 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.”

3. HPB20-0386, 7835 Harding Avenue

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MDPL 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.

Other Business

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

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MDPL Advocacy Position 12-8-20: 

We continue to support the designation of this important historic neighborhood

Continued Items

5. HPB20-0418, 826 Meridian Avenue (single-story home and garage accessory structure, garage to be demolished)

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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..

MDPL Advocacy Position updated for 12-8-20: 

MDPL continues to oppose the reclassification and demolition of the garage structure. Historic preservation as defined by local statute and the Secretary’s guidelines indicate the importance of a structure in understanding the architectural development and history of the City. Since the Flamingo Park neighborhood and this structure are designated contributing, the potential loss of this building is particularly concerning:

Architectural development of South Beach.  The Miami Herald cited the house and garage as a significant milestone in the development of Meridian Avenue by highlighting construction in the subheadline of a March 20, 1923 article. In the text, it cites the house and garage. It gives the cost of both at $8000 and J.J. Coyle as the builder.  In the following May, the structure is cited as part of “Building Progresses in the Ocean View Division.” Other articles in the chronicle the construction of the building.

Historic development of Miami Beach.  MDPL notes that HPB criteria also include consideration of builders and residents of the structure.  J.R. Goodley was a prominent member of Miami Beach. He was a charter member of the Library Association and represents a picture of middle class life during the time of Carl Fisher. He and his house on Meridian are as important to the history of our city as the wealthy families in the headlines. (There are numerous references to him in the Miami Herald and in his hometown.)

We are disappointed that a complete historic resources report is not included as part of the application. When the vernacular house at 7835 Harding Drive was before the board, the applicant secured a complete historic resources report was provided to the HPB. 

Finally, the HPB has recognized the importance of supporting structures, most recently in the Generator Hotel expansion. In that case, staff in its original review of the property also supported the retaining of the garage when the restoration of the residence of 3127 Indian Creek Drive was before the HPB. In 2016 (file #7602), the City’s historic preservation staff found that the garage 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.

Modifications to Previously Approved Board Order

6. HPB20-0430, 3425 Collins Avenue (Versailles Hotel)

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MDPL Advocacy Position for 12-8-20: 

We are disappointed that the applicant has ignored our attempts to discuss this project. Since its inception, a primary goal of MDPL has been to have a thriving city that upholds our rich architectural heritage. This heritage has brought the City international recognition and its preservation is integral to the city’s image as a resort destination as well as its economic vitality and resilience.

While this is a new structure, its design should be in concert with its historic surroundings and this building is a jarring addition to the beachscape that diminishes our iconic postcard view.  We do not quite understand why the inspiration would be from another context instead of Miami Beach’s rich architectural tradition.  With the proposed alterations of the east facade of the adjoining historic and iconic building, this new structure erases the Art Deco identity from this portion of the beach.

We also continue to be concerned about shadows that the proposed hi-rise building would cast across the beach. The beach belongs to all of us, and new buildings should not impact adversely resident and visitors’ full enjoyment of this internationally recognized resource.


7. HPB20-0434, 745 Alton Road

An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of a sign above the ground level.

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8. HPB20-0437, 2660 Collins Avenue

An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of a generator at the northwest corner of the municipal surface parking lot.

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9. HPB20-0438, 915 Washington Avenue (Moxy Hotel)

MDPL Advocacy Position for 12-8-20: 

We are concerned that in the prior approval for the hotel addition, the applicant proffered at the HPB to paint the under part of upper roof canopy in the Leonard Horowitz pastel color palette. However, MDPL recently visited the site and the canopy is being painted in what looks to be a Moxy Hotel / branding color palette. MDPL expressed its concerns about this promise not being carried out, but with no positive result. We ask the HPB to ensure that the applicant upholds its original promise and updates the color palette to reflect the pastel color palette. This is an important connection to the past and also to the site, which was one of the first facades painted by Leonard Horowitz during the early revitalization of the district.

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