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 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.