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Monday, August 11, 2014

History is still all around us

There are so many changes going on in Coconut Grove these days; new business owners, lots of office workers, streetscape changes, but if you look hard enough, you can find some reminders of a different time in the 1980s. People then felt the Grove was changing too much, now I bet so many people would like to go back to that time. You can see this Burdines tile work at the Mayfair Promenade, hidden under an awning. Still there from the 1980s when Burdines was part of the Mayfair complex. It was a time of Planet Hollywood and movies and lots of restaurants and clubs.

And there were so many clubs at Mayfair, remember Ensign Bitters? The tiled sign is still there, part of the Mayfair complex. If you look around, you can find it.
Mayfair West and East and Mayfair Lane are all a part of fondly remembered Grove history. Not as old as The Barnacle or Plymouth Church, but still a part of our history.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a big "Iguana Cantina" tile mural on the third floor of the Mayfair.

Side note: Are there any pictures of the grove from the 90s early 00s? I remember coming to the Improv back in '02 or '03 when it was in the Mayfair (third or second floor?). There were tons of people all around and lots of bars / clubs.

August 11, 2014 9:35 AM  
Anonymous AM said...

Ken Treister is the architect who designed the Mayfair. Although the Mayfair was never really a great "mall", it is an architectural masterpiece.
Ken understood the importance of the surrounding environment in Coconut Grove and instead of designing an eyesore that sticks out, he designed a building that respected the surrounding local architectural vernacular.
With his use of natural motif's and patterns in the details, Mayfair, flawlessly, blends nature into its "organic" design.
Ken's use of deep overhangs over its interior walkways creating lots of shade, and cool splashing pools and fountains, are examples of Ken's understanding, of how to work with nature to cool the Mayfair instead of segregating us from nature with AC.

Take a slow stroll around Mayfair. Take the time to look up and down, in the corners and on the floor, there are hidden gems, all over, that will make you smile.
We are lucky to have such a wonderful architectural gem in our neighborhood.

August 11, 2014 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved into the Grove in 1965, namely because I could dock my lobster boats in the anchorage for free. Eventually the Mayfair complex caught my eye and every so often I walk about and always see something new in the way of art - it's everywhere. I hope this structure is never torn down. Jobie Steppe

August 11, 2014 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Agreed. Despite the names of old stores that have closed up or gone out of business, I love the tile murals and the lettering. It's a great design and so much more interesting than the steel and glass condos that are going up all around the city.

It does give one a sense of history, even it is relatively recent.

August 11, 2014 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly enough my brother in law was just visiting from Peru. He's an architect there and this was his first trip to the US. He was struck by the charm of the Grove and the tiny shops and tree lined streets. He also specifically pointed out the Mayfair and was amazed at how Gaudi-esque it was. We took him for a sunset glass of wine above the Sonesta and the view to him was breathtaking. Interestingly enough he was also amazed that there is a Rem Koolhaas building going up just blocks away. He told me he's a top 10 architect of the world and that his stamp alone would bring tremendous additional prestige to the area.

August 12, 2014 1:16 AM  
Blogger Sledge said...

How about when, according to numerous old time Grovites and Miami Herald and Riptude columnists who have written along these lines.. " in the 70s, the coastline forest didn't exist." .. " the shores of Peacock Park looked like the shores of Maui."

August 12, 2014 5:36 AM  
Blogger Sledge said...

Totally agree.

August 12, 2014 5:38 AM  
Blogger Sledge said...

" He told me he's a top 10 architect of the world and that his stamp alone would bring tremendous additional prestige to the area."

I am convinced that what would give the most "prestige" aka. Business Success to Cocoanut Grove would be to open up as many Bayside Views as possible, which are extremely rare and hidden.

I don't particularly enjoy beating on that drum every few weeks, just can't help it while living here with eyes wide open:Let's deploy some common sense, sadly, often times, the least common of all senses:

It is said that removing some Mangroves here and there, or even cutting some "windows" as the City had promised would be detrimental to the Entire Bayside Ecosystem. Derm officals really, really do not know what they are talking about.

Think about it. Would we all be in peril, or the seashore organic nutrients be jeopardized if we had a few dozen less Sacred Mangroves here or there, when there are Trillions all over South Florida growing happily everywhere everyday?

Now let's just reason what the Economic, prestigious consequences of more truly open views for everyone would do for our unique Village. HUGE Boost,of every sort, because no other Village around has quite the same possibilities.

Case in point: Getting rid of the few Mangroves on between the Boardwalk and Peacock park. Now.

I invite all to walk around, and just look at it logically, with an open mind and all due historical and scientific perspective.

August 12, 2014 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck, don't cut the mangroves, what for? To look at what? Sailboat mast, the spoil islands, Key Biscayne in the distance, the Straits of Florida, Biscayne Bay? Just walk a few feet North or South from anywhere where the view blocked by mangroves and get the same beautiful view and leave the trees alone.

August 12, 2014 9:35 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

"Leave the trees alone..", got an astute, similar comment yesterday from a very nice, albeit ingenuous lady with a kid, kneeling down, enjoying a diminutive mangrove shade in the boardwalk, hidden there at Peacock Park.

She proudly declares, with absolute conviction the following secret: "trees "give oxygen", and "shade". Fair points, sure, but why not plant Palm trees, Coconut Trees or anything else, taller and with more canopy protection, less mosquitoes, instead of those few Mangroves?

Coz Derm "thinks" all wild life in the 5 miles of our blocked Bay side would be in irreparable trouble..

The countless alternatives would provide more shade, more "oxygen" (in the Grand Scale of Things, of course, since one dozen Mangroves play a vital role in South Florida's entire waterline ecosystem)-- and would open up more of that splendid water sight for everyone to enjoy from far away. All at once. As it used to be, or better.

Please feel free to edit, if redundant.


August 13, 2014 9:20 PM  

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