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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

County claims Board broke law regarding Playhouse

The county's chrome and glass answer to restoring the Playhouse

The county says the HEP Board broke the law when they voted down the Playhouse plan at last Tuesday's meeting.

They are blaming vice chair Lynn Lewis, a person with integrity and who understand what the HEP Board stands for - preservation. The county claims the board was led astray by Lynn who "orchestrated an attack" on their plan.

Here's the story in today's Herald.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes when you don't like the vote call it illegal. Since when has casting a vote by board members become illegal? Vote Gimenez and the gang out.

March 13, 2019 1:43 PM  
Blogger Melissa Meyer said...

Spring was denied grant funding because Arquitectonica's design demolishes the entire historic theater, violating the U.S. Department of the Interiors standards for the restoration of buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places, effectively removing the Playhouse from the National Register. The Historic and Environmental Preservation Board only has two mandates — to promote the preservation of our City's heritage by identifying and designating properties of major significance, and closely monitoring alterations to them. The nature of this mandate requires board members to educate themselves about the historic properties that they are voting on, and it's our State preservation officials' job to inform and guide them. Board members need not concern themselves with anything else. Lynn Lewis is a volunteer who did an excellent job making sure that the board fulfilled their mandate. What a shame it is to see our county officials and Arquitectonica behaving like thugs while ignoring the voters and taxpayers who voted for complete restoration in 2004.

March 13, 2019 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynn Lewis is : Dramatic, authoritarian, cuts people when they talks and disrupt lawyers during presentations.

March 13, 2019 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How myopic are these "Make Coconut Grove Great Again" gangsters? I am starting to feel like those advocating for a 700+ person theater only associate with other "drama club" kids who similarly feel that a large theater is not only "necessary" but supportable. I experienced the dangers of living in this echo chamber first hand when I was shocked (and saddened) to learn about the election of our current President. Most of my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances did not vote for Trump and I just took it for granted that I was in a bubble. I learned my lesson. The "large theater" supporters need to learn theirs before it is too late. If they and their cronies on the HEP board keep fighting the construction of any theater that does not fit their exact desires, they are going to end up with: A PARKING LOT. That's right. Keep fighting and you are going to get a PARKING LOT.
Because guess what, the state does not have to build another theater - it can simply sell the site to a developer and that is exactly what it said it will do if County's plan does not get approved. Also, word to the wise, people outside of your bubble/echo chamber/drama kid club probably won't see more than 1 show a year, so there is no chance you are going to be able to regularly fill a 700 person auditorium. Get with it before it is too late, people.

A Grovite Who Has Been Waiting for a Theater, Any Theater, for Years

March 14, 2019 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:55 It is about history and tradition that started 92 years ago and now we have to put up with whatever a couple of jerks have their eyes on (the $20 million plus sitting in the bank to reopen the playhouse as well as their retail residential franchise)

March 14, 2019 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear 12:06 and Friends,

10:55 here. I hear and sympathize with your concerns. It is a shame that we are struggling to maintain our few historic traditions. And it is a damn shame that there aren't other plans in play at the moment. But this is our reality and here is our choice: County plan playhouse or PARKING LOT. You need to ask yourself this question: are you willing to cut off your nose to spite your face? Are you willing to vote Ralph Nader to hand George W. Bush the Presidency? If your answer to these questions is "no" (and I certainly hope that it is!), then we must proceed with the County plan. If activists who are convinced that we can support a large theater (each of whom I would expect to put their money where their mouth is and buy season tickets to support the playhouse) keep throwing up roadblocks we are going to get a PARKING LOT. That's the situation. I don't want a PARKING LOT. I want a playhouse. Unfortunately, the County playhouse is what we are going to get. Still better than a PARKING LOT.

Good luck to you.

March 14, 2019 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended the meeting: Lynn Lewis was composed, accurate, and doing an incredible job at what she is supposed to do: try to preserve Miami's most historic buildings. I wish all of our City commissioners would be so eloquent, principled, and clear in their thinking.

Everyone wants the Grove theater renovated and re-opened, but this does not need to be done at the expense of demolishing 3/4 of it (as the county plan calls for).

It is simple: The entire building was designated historic, and the county plan demolishes 3/4 of it. Developers in Florida need to know that they must obey the law, and cannot simply do what be easiest/make them the most money.

March 14, 2019 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1) I do not know Lynn and was not at the meeting, so cannot comment on her disposition.
However, Lynn Lewis is NOT a commissioner, she is a member of a board appointed by the commissioner that responds to the commission.

2) There is no Plan B. There is only one plan for the playhouse: the current County plan, Plan A. If Plan A not passed then the County will be in breach of its obligations under its agreement with the State of Florida due to the years delay that we have already faced. The State of Florida owns the property and does not have to lease it back to the City/County to build the playhouse. The State made it clear that they will sell the land to a developer if the County plan is not approved.

March 14, 2019 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is not one iota of evidence the county will demolish it to build a parking lot or the State will sell it to a developer. Where is your source for such claims? What is your motive for spreading lies.

March 14, 2019 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:10, step out of your echo chamber and read the news.

The article that this blog post is based on for example highlights that the County plan is the only one that has sufficient funding to build ANY playhouse and that if the County withdraws there is no alternative plan. The State said it will take back the property if the playhouse is not built by 2022. WAKE UP!!!


"But Eidson was unable to raise the additional money needed for full restoration, and the appeals court overturned the city decision as a legal overreach.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has said that the plan now under consideration is the only viable, funded alternative in play under a complex agreement with the state, which owns the playhouse. The county and Florida International University lease the property from the state. The agreement calls for its reopening by 2022.

Gimenez has publicly suggested that if the county plan fails to win approval, he may withdraw from the effort to save the playhouse, leaving its future in limbo. The playhouse closed abruptly in 2006 amid growing debt."

March 14, 2019 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, there is no evidence the playhouse will be demolished for a parking garage or it will be sold to a developer by the state. You only claim the mayor is a jerk who either does not care about Coconut Grove and its residents or he is just too incompetent and unfit to handle this historic project.

March 14, 2019 6:07 PM  
Blogger Lowell Kuvin said...

When someone tells me "This is the only option," its usually because they can't think of any other options, or they are lying.

Of course, Joe Adler wants a free state of the art theatre. I'd like a free state of the art law office, but I don't think the taxpayers should pay for it. How much is Gables Stage contributing? If Gables Stage is successful, then they must have a couple of $$$ to contribute.

Of course, the County wants to build a small theatre; they don't have a choice because the State lease says there must be a theatre on the site. If you tell me I can develop the property but I must build a theatre, I'll go for the smallest possible footprint so I can build many more condos and restaurants. I'm no dummy - neither is the County.

But it's not the County's money either. It belongs to the taxpayers. Why is Coconut Grove always treated like a piggy bank by the County and City when it come to other projects (Marine Stadium etc.)? But when The Grove wants to save a historic building in the Grove, it "too expensive" and it won't work.


March 14, 2019 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this instance democracy engulfing the Coconut Grove Playhouse become a labyrinth clogged with quicksand, muck, swamp, mosquitoes, quagmire, snakes, waste, stalemate & failure. Welcome to another chapter of Coconut Grove.

March 15, 2019 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really do not care if the Coconut Grove Playhouse ever has another play. I really do not care if the Coconut Grove Playhouse ever shows a profit BUT I do care that we preserve historical buildings in Coconut Grove for future generations. It would be nice if in 100 years people would be able to look at this building and be thankful that we cared enough to restore and save some Coconut Grove history from the developers. Cities all across this country are doing exactly that. We have the Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board to help us do just that. It would be nice if the Coconut Grove Playhouse actually could be used for plays or other community events but we cannot let developers and the state destroy Coconut Grove history based strictly on whether the Coconut Grove Playhouse will “turn a profit”. We need for the State, County and City of Miami to find the funds necessary to RESTORE AND SAVE THE COCONUT GROVE PLAYHOUSE.

March 15, 2019 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They have the funds, over $20 million sitting in a bank account, they only want to dictate how it is spent, not to preserve as the funds were intended for but to build retail and residential for their own benefit.

March 15, 2019 12:15 PM  

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