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Saturday, January 04, 2014

Naming rights

What's with all the naming rights? It seems that a new trend may have started in Miami where if you give enough money, your name is slapped on a museum.

First we have the Miami Art Museum, which was a failing museum on Flagler Street next to the library and HistoryMiami, so the powers that be moved them to a perfect prime perch right on the bay in Bicentennial Park and named it after one of their benefactors, Jorge Perez. Now we have the Perez Art Museum. Truth be told, from all the reviews I've read they say that the art is nothing special there and that could be the cause for small crowds in the former location and possibly the new space, as well. But city land, parkland at that, was taken away to put in the Perez Museum hoping to make it a world-class museum, when maybe all it really needed in it's former location was a new marketing company to get people in.

Now we have the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, formerly the Miami Science Museum, right here in Coconut Grove. The museum played with the name a bit over the years and changed the order of wording and even at one time called themselves MiaSci, but apparently they found large benefactors and their names have been slapped on the building. That museum is moving from it's Vizcaya neighborhood location to more parkland downtown.

I have a friend who won't step foot inside the Perez Museum, and now I am guessing he won't go to the Science Museum either. He doesn't have anything personally against Perez, although he is not a fan, but he feels that the board of directors of the museum did the wrong thing.

Steve Ross, owner of the Dolphins, has been throwing fits over getting funding for Joe Robbie Stadium renovations, or whatever it's called now. Voters refuse to pay for this so maybe he can find a benefactor and call the stadium after them. Joe Smith Stadium, Jose Lopez Arena, Muhammad Jones Stadium, etc.

I think they should be careful about naming rights on buildings. They have tried this with streets over the years and then sheepishly have had to undo it after the person who the street was named after did something unworthy, illegal or just downright notorious. The same could happen with these buildings.

I still call the county Dade, I can't bring myself to call it Miami-Dade, although I have in stories here. And I still call the lit up building downtown the CenTrust Tower. So what's in a name? I'll just call the other places "The Art Museum," "The Science Museum," and "Joe Robbie Stadium." it's easier that way and less pretentious.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I still call it Captain Dick's! Funny how Scotty got the naming rights for the new building even though he will no longer be involved. It's all about their egos.

January 04, 2014 5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How soon before Vizcaya is also renamed after a generous donor?

The Museum of Science will soon be renamed the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science.

Miami Art Museum has already been renamed the Perez Art Museum Miami.

So when will Vizcaya also sell its soul and good name to the highest bidder?

I am pretty sure that Vizcaya is safe for now, because they have a wiser and less mercenary Board of Directors.
Naming a museum room in honor of a gift giver is a most acceptable demonstration of respect. But changing the name of a museum to that of a donor is just blatantly selling out.

Just offer donors the opportunity to help their community and the honor of being recognized in a pavilion. But the message from the Board must be that the Museum is the headliner not any one donor. Vizcaya has plenty of donors and none of their names are attached to it.

Public buildings, parks, streets and bridges should only be named in honor of deceased that have contributed to benefit our community. It is a travesty to sell everything to the highest bidder. It cheapens the public facility and shames our community.

January 04, 2014 6:44 AM  
Anonymous Al Crespo said...

I hate to break it to you all, but Coconut Grove is no longer Coconut Grove. It's now Sarnoffville. He paid for the name change with a check from The Sarnoff Foundation.

January 04, 2014 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Crespo, there is a Dr. Seuss story in Sarnoffville waiting to be written or finished.

January 04, 2014 11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what is going in the current Science Museum space?

January 05, 2014 1:42 AM  
Blogger Brian Breslin said...

Anonymous 1:42AM
I heard the current science museum space will be turned into a charter school. The building though is owned by the vizcaya foundation, which is operated by the county I think. I would love to see it turned into a science and technology school.

January 06, 2014 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian, I hope you're right, that would be a great fit and fill a need.

January 06, 2014 4:08 PM  

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