The board of directors of the Trail of Florida’s Indian Heritage, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of Florida’s Native American sites, supports the lawsuit against the city of Miami by William Pestle.
We agree that mediation of the conflict between preservationists and developers relative to the MDM hotel and entertainment complex along the north bank of the Miami River was conducted hastily and “behind closed doors,” thus violating Florida’s open-meeting laws.
Also, we object to the city bypassing its own historic preservation board’s decision to deny a building permit on the site, a dangerous precedent other developers could use in the future.
This site is truly the birthplace of Miami.
Archaeologist Bob Carr and his team have uncovered not only evidence of a likely 2,000-year old Tequesta Indian village, but traces of the 19th-century Fort Dallas and Henry Flagler’s Royal Palm Hotel.
Hopefully, the lawsuit will delay further construction until a more transparent and considered evaluation can be made about how to preserve as much as possible of this historic site.
Martha Ardren, co-founder and board member, Trail of Florida’s Indian Heritage, Florida City