Letters to the Editor

Historic Gables building stays up — for now

On behalf of the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables board of directors, we send a collective “Thank you” to Andres Viglucci and the Miami Herald for its continued coverage of the historic preservation issue unfolding in Coral Gables.

Because of the timely media coverage and a considerable number of residents voicing their support to halt demolition of the historic La Salle Building, at the Coral Gables Commission meeting on July 10, Commissioner Michael Mena agreed to stop demolition.

The commission showed great respect for our city’s historic legacy and patrimonial heritage in rescinding — by a 5-0 decision — the resolution that “authorized the city to enter into a parking agreement with owner MML (La Salle) once the owner demolishes the structure.”

And in a second resolution, the commission asked staff to discuss with the owner options that would save the building.

Let’s hope Mirella La Salle will consider overtures by the city to preserve this unique piece of history. Unfortunately, there is not much more to do but wait for the city and the owner to agree to negotiate a deal.

We strongly urge the city of Coral Gables to do whatever it can to keep the property.

The return on investment will be priceless.

It’s important to recognize that preservation is not a zero sum game and it should not be weighed against how many buildings are saved versus how many are sacrificed.

The key word is preservation and, yes, every opportunity that presents itself to preserve a community’s cultural patrimony — whether private or public — should trigger the same reaction: Protect the historic integrity of the resource, not destroy it, that’s the job of the nonprofit whose mission is to promote the understanding and importance of historic resources and their preservation.

Karelia Martinez Carbonell,

president,

Historic Preservation

Association, Coral Gables

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