|The Historical Library - was Torn Down. No respect for history in the City of Miami.|
IS THE HISTORICAL ORDINANCE UNDER SIEGE?
The City’s Historic and Environmental Board faces a dilemma. A small Historic District on the Miami River is in a peculiar paradox. The City’s new Miami 21 Code, in its Historic Preservation section, aligned itself with several other local municipalities, such as Miami Beach and Coral Gables, in outlawing the practice of allowing protected designated structures to be neglected to the point where these structures show signs of deterioration. The Board established to prevent such action and to prevent these willful owners from demolishing these links to our past, the Miami Historic and Environmental Board, has been getting tough lately. Their own law says a property owner has to have a permit for a proper replacement structure that meets their approval, if they prove that demolition is the last resort.
The City’s Historic and Environmental Board was getting into its enforcement role, when it discovered the latest culprit in the City was the City!
The Seybold Canal House, dating back to 1915 and the last remaining part of John Seybold’s estate, an early Miami Pioneer. The State of Florida even indicated the building was so significant that it was eligible for nomination to the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. Volunteers from the tiny Historic District of Spring Garden raised enough money to buy it, and gave it over to the City in 2003 to finish the job. The City accepted their gift, but let the building rot in place.
The City let it further deteriorate to the point where it had to be demolished. This made the City both the criminal and the sheriff.
The City’s Historic and Preservation Board will sort through this at City Hall on May 5 at time certain 5 pm. The Board previously approved an acceptable replacement, fitting to commemorate the Seybold family, by the late architect Les Beilinson who died, sadly, before his building could be built.
The City of Miami must comply with the same law that applies to us all--if you own property in an historic district you follow the law. Chapter 23 of Miami 21 says clearly that a contributing building in a historic district cannot be demolished unless there in an appropriate replacement.
-- Dr. Martin is a resident of Spring Gardens and has been a member of many City Boards since his retirement from the County.