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

Viva Florida 500 at the Gables Hispanic Fest. 2013

New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami  Muralist 1988
Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason At The New World Mural 1513 Foundation At the Coral Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival. 2013
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

 New World Mural 1513 Foundation

At The Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival 2013

Le Jeune and Biltmore Way Coral Gables October, 26, 27.

The Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival had it’s 4th annual weekend street festival in front of Coral Gables City Hall .

Saturday morning Mayor Jim Cason welcomed everyone from the stage to get the Festival started then made his way up the Festival tents past a host of vibrant and expressive artists and vendors to the West end entrance, where he signed the Gracias Por La Historia canvases at the New World Mural 1513 Foundation’s tent. Mayor Cason then posed with a Conquistador helmet in front of a new mural made in partnership with Dade Heritage Trust for the Viva 500 Florida theme, by two of the original Freedom Tower, muralists from 1988.

Tower Miami Muralist 1988
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

The Gracias Por La Historia canvases filled with signatures by the end of the second day of the Festival, whole families donned helmets and feathers to be photographed together in front of the Map mural being raffled. The signed canvases are destined for the State and Spanish archive collections for this historic milestone in our State’s Viva 500 history and heritage. Families put the dates of their arrival in this area, they ranged from 1866 to less than 6 months ago.

New World Mural 1513
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

The Freedom Tower Muralists were on hand to sign posters, they were also celebrating 25 years since their New World mural was created for the News Tower/ Freedom Tower in 1988,  which commemorates Juan Ponce De Leon’s naming and exploration of Biscayne Bay and Tequesta Miami for two weeks in 1513 and reminding everyone that Tequesta Miami is the first Native American settlement discovered and recorded in the ships logs of Juan Ponce De Leon’s first expedition to the waters North of Cuba.

New World 1513 Mural, Viva 500 La Florida
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

Major Jim Cason is quick to point out that sixty percent of Coral Gables residents and businesses are Hispanic in culture or influence and having the Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival is an obvious win for all.  By the time he had made his way back down the other side of the vendor’s avenue the Stage area was well warmed up and sounding out Latin beats that would vary through the weekend from folk and gypsy to Latin funk and salsa beats.

Miami Hurricanes Football  at the  At the New World Mural 1513 Foundation
Miami Hurricanes Football at the At the New World Mural 1513 Foundation

The small Merrick Park in front of Coral Gables City Hall had shade and favorite foods found from all over Miami Dade County with kids activities and cool places to sit and enjoy the stage performers.

New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

This was a new venue for the Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival, previously at the Ponce De Leon and Biltmore intersect and park area. Their partnership with Waste Management Inc, had positioned clean trash boxes everywhere with soda and water stands never far from any point at the Festival. The Festival ran till late Saturday night attracting the usual Coral Gables Miracle Mile crowd to come across Le Jeune Ave to eat and dance, Sunday evening  the Festival ended earlier.

The Gables Hispanic Cultural Foundation really organised a very fun and secure Festival again.

http://www.newworldmural1513.org/

http://www.gableshispanicfestival.com/

http://www.gableshispanicfestival.com/

http://www.vivaflorida.org/

http://events.miamiherald.com/coral_gables_fl/events/show/359158583-new-world-mural-1513-tent-at-the-gables-hispanic-cultural-festival-viva-500-florida

http://www.vivaflorida.org/Events/New-World-Mural-1513

www.miamiartreviews.com                  Contact: Miamiartreviews@gmail.com

New World Mural 1513 logo with Viva Florida 500 Logo
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

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 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.