The McFarlane Homestead and Coconut Grove
A reader sent me these photos. He's upset with the direction that Coconut Grove is going. It's been turned into a developer's dream. For years they have been constructing ugly townhouses, cramming as much as possible into one plot of land. Parts of Village West - west of Douglas Road, are in Coral Gables in a plat called the McFarlane Homestead.
That area continues to be zoned single family residential and is historically designated. New construction requires approval by design board as well as historical and preservation board.
Historic and beautiful.
On the other side of Douglas, the Coconut Grove side, it was zoned single family residential, but changed to duplex for more density and greater property taxes. Coconut Grove, the most historic place in the county, never applied for historic designation. Faux Mediterranean was popular for years but now the trend is for big white boxes. No need to be approved by a design board or historical and preservation board.
I once wrote an article calling Matilda Street the Ugliest Street in the Grove, but that dubious honor could be given to any residential street these days. The cookie cutter houses go in as historic houses are knocked down, along with foliage.
Pretty soon, the Grove will have no character and all these out of towners who are in to build, make a killing and leave will have the last laugh.
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