The home at 2 Casuarina Concourse in Gables Estates, aka the Landon House, designed by the prominent architect Alfred Browning Parker, has received a temporary stay from the wrecking ball.
The city commission unanimously voted Tuesday to reject the owner’s contention that keeping the home intact was an “undue economic hardship.’’ The owner wanted to set aside the city’s historic designation of the property so the 11,183-square-foot home, set on two acres backing up to Biscayne Bay in the gated community, could be razed.
The home, built in 1966 for well-known art collectors and philanthropists, Robert Kirk Landon and his then wife, B. Landon, is listed for sale at $12.5 million.
In February 2012, the city’s Historic Preservation Board voted unanimously to designate the property as historic, “based on its historical, cultural and architectural significance and its exceptional importance.” The City Commission upheld that designation in March 2012. If the city declares a structure historic, it cannot be demolished.
“I’m confident in our position, as it stands here, through our historic preservation code,” Vice Mayor Bill Kerdyk Jr., said Tuesday, before the vote.
The property is owned by Cascar, LLC, which represents the Estate of B. Carlin, whose sole beneficiary is the B. Carlin Foundation. The Landons filed for divorce in 1997; B. Landon remarried businessman and philanthropist Donald Carlin in 2000. They lived in the home until she died in 2007.
Cascar does not believe the residence is a good example of Parker’s work, said Andrew Hall, the attorney representing the owner. In addition, he said, Cascar has received offers of $10.2 million for the property — contingent on the razing of the home — but only $5 million if the house stands.
“Historic designation created a lower value,” Hall said. “We have a constitutional right to sell and that vested right is being restricted and a significant value of the property is being lost by historical designation.”
Hall said Friday he plans to appeal the decision.
“We are putting the city on notice We’re giving the city a chance to write a very large check,’’ Hall said.
Parker was known for designing homes that reflected their environment. He designed two other homes listed on the Coral Gables Register of Historic Places — 915 Bayamo Ave. (built in 1954) and 6801 Granada Blvd. (built in 1951).
Historian Arva Moore Parks, University of Florida architecture professor Martha Kohen and author Randolph Henning ( The Architecture of Alfred Browning Parker, University Press of Florida) have all supported the home’s historical designation.
“It is one of, if not the best example of, Alfred Browning Parker’s work in South Florida. I also had the privilege of knowing Alfred Browning Parker, who is considered one of the most important architects in South Florida history. The Landon house is one of his best works and one of the few Parker homes in Coral Gables,” Parks wrote in a December 2012 email to the historic board.
“It is a very significant example of the mature work of Mr. Parker, where he was able to synthesize in a simple form the complexity of a sophisticated program,” Kohen wrote last year.