Española Way, the cozy Miami Beach lane built as an artists colony in the 1920s and designed to evoke a picturesque Mediterranean village, has captured The Miami Heralds best block in South Florida competition. Hands down.
With little debate, four expert jurors unanimously selected the streets Spanish Village block between Washington and Drexel avenues as winner of the Goldman Prize named after the late urbanist and developer Tony Goldman from among the scores of urban blocks in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties nominated by readers.
It jumps out at you right away, said juror Victor Dover, a Coral Gables-based town planner and urban designer. There were places centered around nightlife and shopping, or art or music. There were places that had great architecture and walkability. But there were few that had all of those, and that made Española Way stand out. Its got it all.
The popular South Beach street also snagged two other prizes Saturday evening during the award announcements at the Goldman familys Wynwood Walls patio: the $600 top video prize for Jared Robins , a 17-year-old Country Day School student whose father owns the small Española Way Villas hotel, and the previously unveiled $400 third prize in photo for a serene view of the block at dusk by Barry Miller. Hes a Miami landscape architect whose firm designed the 2002 Plaza de España at the intersection of Drexel and Española Way.
I put my heart into it, a surprised Robins said after getting bear-hugged by his friends, noting his homespun video didnt have the slick production quality of some other entries.
Española Way will be rewarded with a block party this fall.
It was also a big night for another iconic South Florida street: downtown West Palm Beachs resurgent Clematis Street, which grabbed a bunch of prizes, including a sweep of the peoples choice awards for photo and video, a just-for-fun online poll in which readers could like their favorites.
The peoples-choice-winning video of the 200 block of Clematis, by West Palm residents and boosters Jesse Bailey and Aaron Wormus, also took the $400 juried third prize in that category. And Bailey also won the $400 second prize in the photo category for a neon-soaked view of the 300 block of Clematis taken from a rooftop bar. The peoples choice photo of Clematis Street was submitted by the citys Downtown Development Authority. All four runner-up awards were announced earlier this week.
Also taking a first prize Saturday was a photo of shoppers strolling by the multi-hued figure of a flamingo on Coral Gables Miracle Mile, submitted by Shop Coral Gables, a promotional arm of the city business-improvement district. It won the $600 top award in that category.
Filling out the list of runners-up: a rollicking video by Mitch Koch, set to a Latin hip-hop tune, of a two-block section of Calle Ocho in Miamis East Little Havana anchored at 15th Avenue by Domino Park and the Tower Theater, whose renovation by the city helped turn the once-desolate area into an increasingly popular entertainment and cultural district. It took the $500 second prize in the video category.
To see how its come back is a real pleasant surprise, juror Rick Gonzalez, a West Palm Beach architect and preservationist who grew up nearby.