Re the July 23 story “Local residents revolt over tree-devouring ‘white boxes’ invading neighborhood:” A few years ago, the trend was to build faux Mediterranean houses and duplexes. Now it seems the trend is for Big White Contemporary Boxes.
Our neighborhoods are looking more like medical complexes and doctors’ offices.
This is a sad turn of events that has been going on far too long. It is taking its toll on Coconut Grove by undermining its charm, uniqueness, and history. It is happening because the Grove lost the right to be its own municipality in 1925 and was never able to regain it.
Even though we are one of the oldest neighborhoods in South Florida, we have never sought historical registration like that of Morningside, Buena Vista and other communities. We don’t have an architectural design board to help preserve our village.
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It also seems as if Miami’s Planning and Zoning Department, as well as a few city commissioners, are more supportive of developers.
Unless we agree to establish historic registration in some parts of Coconut Grove and establish some kind of design board, we shall continue to be homogenized and will become indistinguishable from other monotonous and cookie-cutter neighborhoods.
The next battles will decide the fate of the historic Coconut Grove Playhouse.
Most Grovites, preservationists and architects want it restored to its once-glorious condition and opened for world-class plays on an ample stage.
Unfortunately, it seems that Miami-Dade County hired the firm of Architectonica to only preserve the facade and to build a new structure with a huge parking garage and even more unnecessary condos.
Once again, Grovites will have to take a stand and speak truth to power in order to preserve what remains of our Coconut Grove.
Harry Emilio Gottlieb, Coconut Grove