Virginia Key Sanctuary At The Miami Marine Stadium 2015

Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic Written By

 

William Mark Coulthard and Ana Bikic  Photos by Ana Bikic

edited by Alexander Felix Coulthard

On Sunday I went to visit the Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key, Biscayne Bay’s iconic concrete bleacher has withstood neglect to shine as a blaring example of how Miami seems to just loose out on obvious opportunities.

Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
In all these years of development, civic response and ultimately a lack of immediate restoration response the structure’s exposed iron brackets, beam re-bar and drainage systems have continued to deteriorate causing ultimate restoration cost to soar beyond commercial and finance projections. If only all concerned had used a marine rust inhibitor and coating all the exposed metal with a thick layer of grease. A small work order of less than $50,000 would have saved millions.
The stadium’s general integrity is a testament to Hilario Candela’s expert design skill but the current costs of restoration are yet again proof our city just lets things slide. The State’s engineers have visited our Bay bridges regularly and found them woefully wanting on protective coatings and their upkeep. Whether it’s the inspector’s recommendations being ignored or lapse oversight of crews, Miami ends up looking  ammeter every time it sticks its hands out asking for money because we haven’t taken care of our toys.
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic

   The most recent issue to the Marine Stadium story is the clumsy manner in which the beach clearance was handled, whilst many are glad to see Australian Pine and Brazilian Pepper be eliminated from the shoreline around the stadium.

Virginia Key Sanctuary
Virginia Key Sanctuary
City of Miami blames contractor in Marine Stadium mangrove destruction.

The loss of thousands of indigenous  shoots that have sprouted is another example of the lack of knowledge on the ground shown by crew leaders and un-creative management to handle local concerns. I was alerted to this by fellow environmentalist and Virginia Key activist Blanca Mesa, who I’ve known for many years through the Urban Environment League of Miami and I have to agree with her that our responsibility to doing things the right way, although often more arduous, harvests better results. Perhaps another consideration is the numerous colorful sponge corals’ plight I found in the tidal wash under the stadium. Nature has this wonderful way of tagging along, marine creatures and pioneer organisms quietly attach themselves to our forgotten remnants and in turn are blamed for symbolizing ruin.

South Florida Coral reef's
Coral reef
Virginia Key Sanctuary by the Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic

The Bay biosphere is under tremendous stress from human activity this year with the dredging, broken sewer lines and invasive species causing local fauna die offs. Many marvel at the beautiful turquoise waters after the Core has barged by, I lament the color to a choking death of the Bay water’s creatures. This circumvention of standard safe torpidity levels would never have been allowed ten years ago, but thanks to some fancy legal footwork development companies and other corporations have sullied any environmental suits. Thus setting a dismal precedence for other bay area projects around the State. Yes we can replant mangroves between the boat slips and design mooring pillars to attract shell life whilst hosting an International boat show but unless the obvious is put to priority everything else we try to do just comes off as contrived, self-invested and ridiculous.

South Florida Coral reef's
South Florida Coral reef’s
Below the Miami Marine Stadium photo by Ana Bikic
http://www.artreviewmiami.com

The environment matters, the immediate restorative issues need practical attention and finally a conservative and viable economic plan for growth of the Stadium and surrounding enterprises should be quickly agreed upon. To encourage further important architectural work and Miami landmarks in the future, we should emphasize the value of this unique marine stadium.

    Finally I have to address the issue of free shore line access to the public. Biscayne Bay is our playground, we abide by mooring and channel guides while attempting to maintain the Bay’s enviromental health.The State laws governing accessibility should never be altered like the water torpidity levels were, the waters are our refuge from urban life, they let us explore and discover ourselves each weekend by marveling at nature’s omnipotence. The pursuit of happiness I experienced many years ago  was a Sunday afternoon listening to a floating live band under the flying bridge concrete canopy of the Marine Stadium. If Miami does this right, it will encourage others to stay and contribute their creativity to our city. 

Virginia Key Sanctuary coral reef's
South Florida Coral reef’s
Below the Miami Marine Stadium photo by Ana Bikic

To reiterate ; prohibiting people from visiting an internationally renown structure, with its curious graffiti-ed decoration is not only ignorant but also shortsighted.
Why the Friends of the Marine Stadium have not succeeded in raising enough financial support is symptomatic of a banking and investment industry not willing to venture to a commoners’ pursuit. If the Boat show garners more attention for the Bay, don’t be surprised if the guards double in numbers to deter the 
Stadium’s curious admirers and our shoreline visits restricted to mask an unwanted compromise designed with excess instead of access.

Written By

William Mark Coulthard and Ana Bikic  Photos by Ana Bikic

Edited by Alexander Felix Coulthard

The DuPont Building In Miami

DuPont Building In Miami
DuPont Building In Miami
The Historic Alfred DuPont Building in downtown Miami.
Miami Art Review with the Dade Heritage Trust, MDC, Miami DDA, downtown historic walk, March 14th
Old vault doors of the DuPont Bank. — at Alfred I Dupont Building Downtown Miami.
Art Review Miami 2013
photo by Ana Bikic ©2013 All Rights Reserved

Saving Miami History

Saving Miami History.

Advocacy For Regional Preservation of Heritage for Economical Stability.
 by Wiliiam Coulthard / Edited by Ana Bikic Miami Art Reviews. 

Carol Cohan's book Coconut Grove
Carol Cohan’s book Coconut Grove Playhouse back cover Pickering Press 1987
Miami Art Reviews Inc.
 
 A region that relies upon tourism needs an entertainment industry. Historical sites are an integral part of this service orientated economy and the degradation and destruction of cultural interests undermines the formula a region has inherited over the decades and centuries. History is the repeated story that entertains, they are the tourist industry‘s product line and without them a region is no different than any other as a destination. 
 
  Although Miami Dade has beaches,National Parks and a pool side party image, most of our visitors are children and the retired if we include resident’s families,snow birds and annual holiday trippers. Their interests are based on more traditional pursuits that require a more intellectual approach to entertainment. Beaches and night clubs, gambling and sports are good for some but to attract an audience appreciation for the arts requires having a strong local history that is more appealing to opera lovers and art collectors, who in turn buy apartments and return each year. 
  Miami Dade County has an immediate or recent history in comparison to European regions but what interests visitors beyond just the pleasure and joy of visiting is to be entertained, educated and have memorable experiences that can be shared with friends upon returning home. Saving local history plays a vital role when tourists return home, they carry with them the stories behind the places they’ve visited. A region’s history actively stimulates  intelligent and curious minds, between natural pleasures of parks and beaches to complete the experience of an exciting and fulfilling trip to their friends. The ancient Romans understood this economic formula providing not just arena entertainment but also galleries of archival history to accompany libraries and monuments. Their tourist cities provided the very best in spas and sports but the most successful cities like Pompey and Pila had preserved and prepared more ancient sites to excite a more affluent and studied clientele.
  Miami, Miami Beach and the  Miami Dade County, as a whole, must be mindful as it expands to what foot print of the past it wipes away.  If an iconic house sitting in full view is the cover picture of an old story related to the region’s past with  internationally known cultural references; it follows that the home’s destruction would bring strong negative feed back from previous and possible visitors. If a City is seen not to care about it’s heritage then it is seen not to care about it’s visitor’s experience. So why should they return? or talk well to others?   Persuading for a location based on others opinions and published experiences, a reputation by region or location should be seen as a regional and  residential responsibility for everyone wishing to live in a successful area and enjoy  the benefits that come from an active tourist economy.  
      The history, architecture and intellectual property of local myths and stories that enrich the visitors experience of our region are vital to the tourism industry as a whole, without them Miami would be boring and predictable. Our local history adds variety to regional destination and encourages opportunities for creating new local attractions. Preservation is therefore a vital part, not an after thought, it is at the heart of our very image and if we are seen to not care what is torn down, our ineptness to protect our own interests will be ridiculed internationally.  Currently the Coconut  Grove Playhouse and the famous Star Island Mansion are up for destruction.
Now is the time to save them, like Miami did with the Daily News / Freedom Tower 12 years ago. Developers and their investors must realize history has unique and has brand name status and that the stories behind the history are an intellectual property that belongs to all the region’s residents, compromising local stories  compromises future potential. Destroying history actually limits future development.
Miami Art Reviews Inc.
Contact :   Arts@miamiartreviews.com
phone: 786-766-1714

Saving The Coconut Grove Playhouse.

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Saving The Coconut Grove Playhouse.

Richard Heisenbottle's architectural rendering
Richard Heisenbottle’s architectural rendering of a future Coconut Grove Playhouse restored to its 1926.
  On Wednesday 27th February 2013, the Dade Heritage Trust heard Commissioner Xavier Suarez, aide J.C. Garrido and  architect Richard Heisenbottlethe region’s foremost authority on restoration, call for the raising of the Coconut Grove Playhouse to be avoided, offering a plausible solution. To achieve this Governor Rick Scott needs to be inundated with our concern and appreciation for the old Theater and how it’s return as a working stage would stimulate the cultural attraction of the whole Coconut Grove Arts scene and the business district to the strengths of former years. The theater has a rich history and is  well-known as a brand name, it has an iconic image that reflects the Grove’s artistic and expressive heritage which would certainly aid the launching of a new working stage for the region as a whole. Miami now attracts many international events all year-long, any theater with mixed programming appealing to a wider audience and offering facility to host events would be able to partner strongly with the neighborhood hotels and residents’ tastes. Performance could be added for the Arts Festival, Comedy nights throughout the year, film openings, corporate and inspirational  presentations, conferences, poetry, dance and music recitals, the list of uses a working stage offers to a community is as long as the imagination and creativity  the Theater’s director is given. Now that we know the building itself is restore-able and safe, we need a business plan for a modern working stage. The Grove’s theater was the driving force of it’s identity as a location, returning to this formula is a sound investment. Destroying the Playhouse entirely or just as a facade to another empty arcade would be contrary to our community’s real concerns. Private schools and gated communities in the center of the business district are contrary to civic planning and they do not attract visitors to the shops and hotels. Theaters have served communities as focal points, the stage is the forum for debate and idea, politically theaters are important places for common voice and vibrant expression, from them comes the confidence of community and with out them the silence is joyless. Save the Grove Playhouse, save a piece of history and save a chance for more to be made. Call the Governor and tell him this is important to reopen a working stage for Coconut Grove.  
 
Contact
Miami Dade  Commissioner Suarez      phone 305-375-5680    or   District7@miamidade.gov
Contact  
Florida Governor Rick Scott         phone  850-488-7146    and at rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com
Further reading.
 Counter to the current conditions of finance and political issues to solve legal halts; the rich historical heritage associated with the Playhouse is impressive.
 Historically it showed film, was restored to stage by famed architect Browning Parker and hosted Black, Jewish and Hispanic artists, from Billie Holiday to the Wizard of Oz.
 The stage hosted the premiers of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the musical Fame and many other Broadway hits, providing quality national performances. The Playhouse was a premier stage for Off Broadway and International new plays and shows. In 1982, with  the  Artistic Director actor-director José Ferrer brought regional programs for actors and Arnold Mittleman continued as AD,  expanding to touring companies.
The Coconut Grove Playhouse was commissioned in 1926 by the Peacock Family, the symbol of the Grove still today, the architect, Kiehnel, is Miami’s very best. The land was given from the Munroe family.
The front facade has Rococo  neo spanish features, commanding the southern entrance to the Coconut Grove business district, it has it’s own parking, office space and room for two small stages.
Between 1964 and 1965, The Coconut Grove Playhouse was used by The Miami Actors Company.
Among many important artists,  most renowned performers, including Maureen Stapleton, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Eve Arden, Tallulah Bankhead, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Linda Lavin, Bea Arthur, George C. Scott, Colleen Dewhurst, and Ethel Merman,  Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys, starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, and Urban Cowboy,  Sherry Glaser’s, Family Secrets, Death of a Salesman, starring Hal Holbrook and Elizabeth Franz, actor-director José Ferrer.
In a 2011 Miami Condition report by Ellen Ugiocinni states a $15 million plus matching $5 million had be reserved.
The restoration if done in private hands would match this figure, according to the Architect but double that figure if the City gets involved with the renovation process.
Specific Dates 1926 1955
 Architects: Kiehnel and Elliott – 1926
 Remodeling by Alfred Browning Parker – 1955
Builder/Contractor: Albert V. Peacock – 1926
miamiartreviews@gmail.com
Miami Art Reviews considers the Coconut Grove Playhouse as important to save as the Freedom Tower,the old Daily News Tower , 600 Biscayne Blvd. It has both cultural and historical heritage for the Grove and the region as a whole.  MAR calls for a working stage once again for Coconut Grove.

Design Miami. Miami Basel 2012

Design Miami. Miami Basel 2012

Design Miami.

Miami Beach Art Basel 2012.
Design by  Snarkitecture Projects.

Snarkitecture is a collaborative work Art incorporating architecture, exploring and experimental with the element off surprise working within existing spaces or in collaboration with other artists, architecture and designers.

Snarkitecture was established by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham and is represented by Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.

http://www.snarkitecture.com/ 
MIAMI Art Reviews 2012

miamiartreviews@gmail.com