Miami Beach may create preservation district for North Beach
By Susan Stabley
The Miami Beach City Commission will consider giving final approval Wednesday (2/25) to creation of a North Beach Resort Historic District.
The district would add a layer of protection for a handful of postwar structures on the east side of Collins Avenue from 71st street to about 60th street.
"It is critical in retaining and preserving probably one of the most, if not the most, defining features of Miami Beach," Tom Mooney, Miami Beach design and preservation manager, said about Miami Modern architecture.
Among classic examples of Miami Modern in the proposed district are the Allison Hotel and the Deauville Hotel, he said.
The Allison, at Collins Avenue and 62nd Street, may be reborn as a resort for locals called CabaŅa, according to Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership and GS2 Corp. The developers have said they want to preserve the nine-story exterior and some of the lobby area.
The Deauville, formerly operated by Radisson, recently was purchased by developer Homero Meruelo. Built in 1956, the North Beach resort, at 6701 Collins Ave., played host to the Rat Pack, led by Frank Sinatra. The Beatles performed for the "Ed Sullivan Show" 40 years ago this month in its ballroom.
Plans include adding a 20-story, 144-unit tower, according to Mr. Meruelo. A portion of the Deauville ballroom will be destroyed and the lobby and foyer will be saved, said Mr. Mooney.
A public hearing will be held on the district and another ordinance that includes review guidelines. A connected ordinance modifying a prohibition on multistory rooftop additions in the proposed district might cause a postponement of final approval of the district, said city spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez.
A first reading on creating the district was passed Jan. 14.
The new district would add protection to buildings considered significant in architecture, he said. The city's historic preservation board would have to approve any application to demolish structures in the new zone.
Preservation would be limited to buildings on the ocean side of the North Beach corridor, Mr. Mooney said. Smaller structures to the west would have to be addressed later.
Jeanne Tidy, executive director of the North Beach Development Corp. a non-profit group dedicated to revitalizing Miami Beach between 63rd and 87th streets, said developers can benefit from tax credits given to buildings in historic districts.
The historic district is a key element of the North Beach Development Corp. master plan that will go before the Miami Beach City Commission later this year.