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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Playhouse dreaming; an update

When I was up in Lake Worth last weekend for the Street Painting Festival, as always, I admired their playhouse right in the center of town. As we passed the Lake Worth Playhouse, on Lake Avenue, now in it's 63rd year, I couldn't help but notice volunteers manning a table out front, selling memberships and yearly subscriptions and season tickets.

They have plays coming up like "Inherit the Wind," and Jimmy Mazz, a 1950s singer and they also offer classes and a Spring Break camp and movies. There's always something going on, something for everyone, which is what our Coconut Grove Playhouse should be. You can check out what they do here lakeworthplayhouse.org

The latest on the Coconut Grove Playhouse is that they are in phase 1 of renovation. The design team led by Arquitectonica and under contract to Miami-Dade County is continuing its work on the initial phase of the project: Program Verification and Site Planning. It is important to note that we are coming up on 10 years since the Grove Playhouse has been operating. It closed in April 2006.

Demonstrative tasks that have been completed and/or are currently in progress and which will inform the development of the site plan of the Playhouse include:

• Asbestos testing;
• Historical research, analysis and documentation;
• Structural investigation and lab testing (compressive strength, carbonation and
chloride content ion testing);
• Developing the program for the theater in consultation with GableStage and verifying
it against the project budget;
• Developing the parking program in consultation with the Miami Parking Authority; and
• Assessment of local code requirements and initial meeting with City of Miami plans reviewers regarding code interpretation.

Once these key tasks are completed, the elements necessary to do informed site plans will be in place. It is anticipated that draft site plans will be completed and shared with the public for input by this summer. GableStage continues to work with AMS Planning and Research on the operational, artistic, and mission-related aspects of the organization in preparation for its move to the Coconut Grove location.

It is important to note that the building continues to be secured to prevent intruders and vandalism. All entrance and exit points have been boarded and/or locked. Additional repairs are performed on an as needed basis. The Miami Parking Authority continues to manage the operation of all parking on site and regularly monitors the property. 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cut out the bureaucratic mumbo jumbo just restore it and open it up smart people.

March 01, 2016 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giivvvveee itttt bacccccckkkkk!!!!

March 02, 2016 8:52 AM  
Blogger Hunter Atwood said...

I attended one of the early meetings where we got to speak. The Playhouse when under Jose Ferrer introduced me to a different kind of look for a play in the photos taken for the program and marketing. This later informed the style and thinking I applied when I was working in theatre marketing. Saving it's soul is vey important to me.

At the meeting in front of the commissioners, I showed the photo of the program for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that inspired me...and a photo I took of a wrecking ball after it smashed into the tower of the Priscilla Apartments on Biscayne. Illegally knocking down a part of 1920s Miami History that was left to fall into neglect.

I also mentioned that in the 80's, Lexington, Kentucky, took a whole city block of hundred year old buildings falling into disrepair--gutted the interiors of most, and built a new and stronger interior yet saved the architectural facades of the old city block. If Lexington Kentucky can do this 30 years ago, Miami should be able to accomplish the same feat.

But Miami only wants the new. There isn't a lot of the old architecture still standing.

March 07, 2016 5:46 PM  

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