Miami 21 Light on Preservation in the CBD

During my evaluation of restoration potential in the CBD, I was surprised to see that the Miami 21 draft code (Article 3.9) doesn’t elaborate on the City’s historic preservation guidelines. Instead it simply cross references Chapter 23 of the City Code, which addresses preservation and has a set of 8 criteria for designation and a limited set of restrictions and guidelines for adaptive reuse, demolition, landscaping in its 18 pages.

The CBD interior, which with minor exceptions is considered Transect Zone 6 (T6: Urban Core – described in Article 5.6 of the draft code), as indicated in Part I of my Under Utilization in the CBD study, has a large section of it that originates from the early twentieth century.

The CBD interior zoning being designated T6 is not surprising and it means that densification is to be fostered in the area described and inclusive of these antiquated structures. Miami 21 provides a comprehensive basis for smart urban planning in Miami, but it has not adequately addressed the historic preservation issue. This is contrary to the first sentence of the draft code’s Preamble, which states

“Miami 21 code establishes standards and procedures for new development or redevelopment in the part of the City designated for use of the Miami 21 code.”

Addressing redevelopment is one of the purposes of the code, but little emphasis on preservation within the code’s articles seems a bit contradictory to me.



Filed under BoB Articles, Miami 21

6 responses to “Miami 21 Light on Preservation in the CBD

  1. Here’s my understanding: redevelopment is the process of tearing down old stuff and building new stuff (esp since we have the UDB). Obviously, a balance needs to be struck between historical preservation of significant old buildings and redevelopment, but tilting the balance too far in favor of preservation hinders redevelopment.

    Doesn’t M21’s silence on preservation simply imply that the planners think the balance as set in current code is correct?

    • Mike was more than a cousin to me, he was a part of my faimly, a good friend to my husband, and a second father to my kids. For the past thirty years, he was always there to help us with projects on our homes, went on faimly vacations with us, spent time with us hiking, going to concerts and out to dinner, or just hanging out with us on the weekends. He spoke highly of all his friends at M&T and at the Central Terminal all of you made Mike feel loved and appreciated. He was living his life exactly as he wanted using the passion he felt for restoring the terminal and, just recently, starting to try to make a difference in Buffalo through his position with Restoration Buffalo Niagara. He felt it was a chance of a lifetime and he was ready to make his mark in our city. He loved what he did, and he loved his faimly and friends. He will be sorely missed by all of us. We are hoping to have a service at the Central Terminal next week. After Russell’s service at the terminal, Mike expressed to us that he would be honored to have the same type of farewell. All your words of sympathy will be passed on to his mother and sisters and I know they will help make this difficult time a little easier for them.

    • I’ve been looking for a post like this forever (and a day)

  2. Redevelopment doesn’t have to constitute tearing down something old and replacing it with something completely new. In some cases you can have an antiquated building with a new structure incorporated in and around it (i.e.: Montclair Lofts in South Beach, or for an even grander example, the Hearst building in NYC) Miami 21 would address the new aspect but not the preservation/restoration aspect. This is the time to reevaluate all aspects of development and redevelopment, including restoration and its role in the future of Miami’s urbanism.
    I don’t know what the planners think with respect to a balance between Miami 21 and Chapter 23, but I feel that the implication is that the planners don’t think there is much to further consider, but that doesn’t mean that they’re right.
    I’ll show how the HEPB has designated only a small number of buildings in the CBD for preservation, but there are several others that meet the criteria for designation but are left out. Considering the broad scope of Miami 21, more forward thinking restoration/redevelopment guidelines could have been included to provide a better framework for farsighted restoration initiatives.
    Where I think restoration should have had special consideration, the draft gives it little to no consideration. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no preservation activist and I know that there are plenty of buildings that need to be demolished, but I do know that cutting edge plans can be incorporated into a restoration/redevelopment and these types of developments add depth to the character of urbanism. Miami 21’s silence on the matter only fuels disinterest in this respect, which seems to be common among City planners.

  3. Esteban Lopez

    Miami 21 does not respect existing structures. Its aim is to see all existing buildings torn down and replaced with new more expensive structures that conform to the consultants vision.

  4. Mark thanks for the link to your site. I was only vaulegy aware that my father ever owned a Siata. Of course Jim Carson had a beautiful one, perhaps named Henrietta (?) that we all knew about. I am glad to hear that you have restored this car and will be showing it. I have a 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 that my Dad owned and is a great connection to his life in cars. Hunter Wessells

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