The loss of Tony Goldman is sad news not just for the South Florida community but for people around the world committed to better communities and historic preservation. Tony played a key role in the renaissance of South Beach and Wynwood along with New York’s SoHo and Financial District and Philadelphia’s Center City.
What should not be forgotten is how he did it.
Tony’s genius wasn’t simply a matter of meticulous restoration of beautiful historic properties. Tony revived whole neighborhoods with his magic formula of galleries, public art, cutting-edge restaurants and stimulated pedestrians strolling past his glorious buildings. The end result created thriving communities with expanding economies and richer lives for those lucky enough to enjoy and live in them.
Tony also knew that a side effect of his neighborhoods’ success was increasing land value and the desire by some to tear down smaller historic buildings and erect tall, out of scale buildings. With that in mind, he worked diligently with local governments to create strong preservation laws that maintain the character of the historic communities he so loved.
Tony’s foresight and civic commitment will serve as an example to generations of developers and preservationists to come.
Charles Urstadt, chairman, Miami Design Preservation League, Miami Beach