The Dade Heritage Trust recently unveiled its list of the Most Endangered Sites of 2020 to draw attention to notable structures and natural areas in Miami-Dade County that need preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation. The list includes updates on properties that have been featured on prior lists as well as a watch list.
This year’s list of 12 endangered sites includes a variety of architectural styles and uses from a variety of neighborhoods. Among the selected sites are the Ace Theatre in Coconut Grove, Little Santo Domingo Commercial District in Allapattah, Miami’s urban tree canopy, Overtown, and Historic Buildings of Matheson Hammock Park.
The watch list includes The Clune Building in Miami Springs, which is currently for sale, and Georgette’s Tea Room in Brownsville, where its owners are looking for funding and partnerships to restore and re-use the building.
“It’s important to bring awareness to historic buildings that are at risk of disappearing,” said Christine Rupp, Dade Heritage Trust executive director. “Our mission is to preserve our community’s architectural and cultural heritage, but we can’t do it alone. We rely on the building owners and the support of the community to continue our mission. This list serves as a call to action.
“Sometimes the owner is interested in preserving the building; sometimes they are not,” Rupp added. “For example, last year, the Presbyterian Church on 2100 SW Eighth St., built by renowned architect Robert Fitch Smith in 1949, was purchased by a developer who demolished it to construct a seven-story apartment building in its place. However, the Gondola Building in Coral Gables, is an example of a success. In that case the City of Coral Gables and the Biltmore Hotel have plans to restore and adaptively reuse the structure.
However, the future of other buildings on the 2019 list is still up in the air. We’ll keep pressing on.”
Rupp said there are many financial incentives available to owners of historic buildings.
“We have to educate building owners about the monetary benefits as we advocate for the preservation of these architectural symbols of the history of Miami,” she said.
12 Most Endangered Sites of 2020:
Ace Theater, 3664 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove;
Alfred Browning Parker Homes, Coconut Grove;
Little Santo Domingo Commercial District, NW 17th Avenue, Allapattah;
Redland Agricultural Area, South Miami-Dade County;
Urban Miami Tree Canopy;
Coconut Grove Playhouse, 3500 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove;
Marjory Stoneman Douglas House, 3774 Stewart Ave., Coconut Grove
Mariah Brown House, 3298 Charles Ave.;
Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, 3001 NW 46 St.;
Historic Buildings of Matheson Hammock Park, 9610 Old Cutler Rd., and
MetSquare – Tequesta site, Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown Miami.
Watch List 2020:
The Clune Building, 45 Curtiss Pkwy., Miami Springs, and
Georgette’s Tea Room, 2540 NW 51 St., Brownsville.