Remembering Keith Root

MDPL recently learned of another one of our dedicated preservationists who passed away last November, 2021. Keith Root attended the University of Florida from 1971-1977, where he received a BA and an MA in Journalism and Communications. 

In 1985, he became involved in making documentaries, showing his first film about the “Anderson’s Corner Groundbreaking” ceremonies on his new government access channel. He next had a series entitled “Heritage Place”, featuring interviews with preservationists along with footage of various local projects. 

In 1985, Keith Root first became active at Miami Design Preservation League when he was nominated to the Art Deco Weekend Design Committee. He would serve on this committee for the next ten years. For a number of the Annual Art Deco Weekends, he was a judge on the Design Committee to choose the poster for that year and oversaw the publication of the festival guides.

In 1986, he became editor of MDPL’s Impressions newsletter and continued to be its dedicated editor through 1994. 

In 1987, Keith authored a pocket sized guide for MDPL containing six walking tours of neighborhoods on the National Register Historic District, called “Miami Beach Art Deco Guide”. This comprehensive guide contained 200 photographs of historic buildings taken by Root in a six month period. 

In April of 1987, he was also on the committee for the Espanola Way Fantasy Days, a festival where actors dressed as pirates and roamed the historic street. 

In 1989, Keith Root was appointed to the MDPL Board of Directors and served two terms as their Secretary. 

In 1990, he was honored with the MDPL Chairman’s Award. In the spring of 1990, MDPL Board formed a Development Committee to seek a permanent home for the League. Chaired by Doris Myers, the committee included Keith Root, Ira Lieberman, Denis Russ and Alan Basemen. After moving to several locations, in 1994 the Art Deco Welcome Center and MDPL offices moved to the Ocean Front Auditorium at 1001 Ocean Drive.

In addition to his being active for MDPL for ten years, Keith Root worked thirty-five years with Miami-Dade County and ten years as Senior Web Publisher, before retiring in 2018. He is survived by his wife, Susan Root.

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