After a 6-0 vote to give landmark status to the Babylon Apartments by Miami’s historic preservation board in July 2016, Miami city commissioners overturn the designation, signing the death sentence of this Miami classic.
Earlier this year, Miami city commissioners were presented with the decision to agree with their own city’s preservation board or go against it. 4-to-1 they chose the latter and for anyone keeping tabs, this means having to cross-out yet another building significant enough to have been included in Miami architecture guide books – the Babylon Apartments (1982) in Brickell.
In the past five months, two fine examples of architecture, one post-modern, the other tropical brutalist, have been lost – not yet demolished, both are likely to get there. Back in September 2017, Office in the Grove (1972), by South Florida’s living legend Kenneth Treister, was deemed not of “exceptional significance” after a strong Docomomo Florida campaign was launched to preserve it.
While adaptive reuse has been a development strategy yielding great results for cities like Miami Beach, or even sectors within City of Miami like Wynwood and the Design District, the approach was not an option for the above-mentioned buildings. This suggests that in a city as young as Miami education and proactivity is crucial in the quest of saving valuable architecture, especially the architecture of the post-1970s era which is currently in danger across the United States.
Miami Herald | Jan. 26, 2018
Curbed | Jan. 26, 2018
The Architect's Newspaper | Jan. 29, 2018
The Real Deal | Jan. 29, 2018