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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Creating new from old

An old Miami National Bank building in downtown Miami is now The Langford, a 126-room boutique hotel.

The 1925 building is at 121 SE First Street.

I just got back from New Orleans and this is the norm there. I stayed in an Omni hotel that was an old factory, fully renovated, but still had the charm of the old building intact. There are also old banks in New Orleans and old stores that have been turned into hotels. Of course you know the French Quarter is basically all the originals from the 1700s and 1800s, you're actually standing inside the original four walls sometimes floors. And the Pontalba apartments on Jackson Square, that are still lived in today, were first built in the 1840s, and not knocked down to build skyscrapers.

This is what is needed here but is there anything left, here in Coconut Grove, I mean? 

If we were in New Orleans, Charleston or Savanah, for example, the Coconut Grove Bank building would have been restored and a hotel would be in the 1960s building, but of course here, in Miami, we knock it down to put up billion dollar chrome and glass structures.

You would think of all the neighborhoods in Miami, the Grove could be saved from development. But it's not to be, but then again, I guess it all stared back with CocoWalk and the Mayfair. That was the beginning of the end. They all had good intentions, but the road to hell is paved with them.

Anyway, thanks Langford for keeping the building in downtown Miami. You can see photos of the ribbon cutting, which was a week ago, at the South Florida Business Journal here.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Repurposing older buildings is the best way to preserve what makes a community unique. Wynwood was blessed to have had a visionary developer like that of Tony Goldman. Wish the Grove was as lucky. If so, perhaps the Grove could have avoided becoming Brickell South.

March 30, 2016 11:08 AM  
Blogger Michelle Niemeyer said...

In New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah, they have beautiful old buildings that are worthy of restoration. Even the old mill and factory buildings in old industrial cities have architectural character. I will probably earn the wrath of some for this, but in my opinion, the Coconut Grove Bank building is and always has been a hideous building. When history is hideous we should not be forced to continue to live with it just because it's old.

March 30, 2016 11:09 AM  
Blogger Good for the goose said...

The ghost of Tony is/has rezoned much of Wynwood. Out with the old and in with the new has already begun. Funny how every time Historic Districts are brought for discussion in Coconut Grove the "Grovites" fight the idea. When will St Gauden's Rd be designated historic?

March 30, 2016 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if the older buildings in Miami were beautiful relics to be saved, they would still tear them down and build new.

It costs more to renovate with less profit and face it, it's all about money in this city.

March 30, 2016 4:07 PM  

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