Recently, I attended a meeting at The Palace in Coral Gables where the majority of the residents spoke in favor of moving the two sculptures at the traffic circles of Segovia and Biltmore Way and Segovia and Coral Way. Opponents of the sculptures in those locations voiced various opinions.
Some claimed the traffic circles were too small to support such large structures and the artistic proportions in relation to the size of the circle were uneven. Others felt safety was a big issue, because the sculptures were distracting drivers who could not see through them to observe traffic movements. Some objected to the artistic aluminum and stainless steel creation as being alien to Coral Gables and out of character.
At the meeting, Coral Gables Commissioner Patricia Keon explained the sculptures were part of the city’s Neighborhood Renaissance Program and the artist’s rendition was chosen out of 181 submissions by a panel of five that included two local art connoisseurs.
Commissioner Keon went on to explain that artistic tastes are subject to change and societies undergo evolutions in their concept of art and what we are looking at in the traffic circles is a work of modern art that eventually will become acceptable by residents. She added that plans for commercial development being presented to the city now are for more modern buildings.
Is there a move afoot in the City Commission to gradually move the architectural focus of the city of Coral Gables from traditional Mediterranean architecture to a more modern view? It seems as if a five-member panel appointed by the City Commission will serve to guide our tastes into the 21st Century. Naturally, one wants to put all this into perspective.
How much change in artistic tastes is required of us residents of Coral Gables to make this transition? Shouldn’t there be a transparent conversation in City Hall about it with the residents?
June Frost, Coral Gables