News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
October 18, 2012
Media Contact:
Kathleen Kauffman

Miami-Dade County recognizes recipients of the 2nd Annual Historic Preservation Awards

(MIAMI, October 18, 2012) – The Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Board, for the 2nd consecutive year, has recognized individuals and organizations that have been strong advocates for historic preservation.  Eight award recipients were acknowledged at the Historic Preservation Board meeting yesterday, October 17, 2012, at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Road, in Pinecrest.

“As Mayor and as a self-proclaimed ‘history buff,’ I want to extend my sincere congratulations to all of this year’s Historic Preservation Awards winners,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Relatively speaking, our community is quite young, but there’s no doubt that we have a rich, colorful past that’s worth preserving and sharing with future generations. I’m glad to know that so many of our residents are committed to doing exactly that and keeping our history alive.”

In August 2011, the County Historic Preservation Board designated the Sunshine State Industrial Park Arch, the first structure in Miami Gardens to gain historic status. This effort was fully supported by the City of Miami Gardens elected officials and staff and was the first official action to start preserving the city’s heritage. The city has requested that the County also move forward with the preparation of a historic district nomination for the rest of the Sunshine State Industrial Park, which county staff believes to be the only mid-century Industrial Park in the country. The County also designated the Enrico Farmhouse in 2012, which the City plans to rehabilitate into a local historical museum and community research facility. The City of Miami Gardens has embraced historic preservation as a tool for economic revitalization and as a way to preserve their heritage, which is a crucial component to improving the quality of life for its residents.

In August 1998, a group of Miami Springs residents incorporated Curtiss Mansion, Inc., or CMI, to restore the long neglected,  three-time arson site and former home of aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss. CMI entered into a management agreement with the City of Miami Springs on September 1, 2000, and took immediate action to secure the building from further vandalism. The devastating events of 9/11 hindered the fundraising process and stalled the project for several years. Construction finally began in 2009.
CMI was tasked to raise $4.5 million dollars to restore the Mansion to its original 1925 condition, including the site’s gardens and pond. After all the debris had been removed, only the original exterior walls remained. The restoration work included a completely new structural system and roof, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems. The meticulous architectural restoration included new custom windows, doors, stairways, and an elevator.  The Mansion officially opened its doors to the public in September 2012.

Dolly MacIntyre has been a Miami-Dade County resident since 1957 and became involved in historic preservation in 1966 when the Villagers, Inc. was organized to save the Douglas Entrance landmark in Coral Gables from demolition.  She has been a Villager for over forty-five years, serving in a number of elected positions during that time. In 1972, she was instrumental in founding Dade Heritage Trust (DHT) and served as President for three years.  She has served on the Board of Trustees for DHT for more than six years and was awarded the Henriette Harris Award in 2003, DHT’s highest award for service to the preservation community.  In the late 1970s, she was a founding member of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and in 2004, received their Distinguished Service award.  Dolly currently serves as a member of the Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board.  In 2012, she was awarded the Mary Call Darby Collins Award by Florida’s Department of State “in recognition of dedication and volunteer action that has forever changed the course of historic preservation in Florida.” 

Operation Pedro Pan was a program created by the Catholic Welfare Bureau of Miami in December 1960, at the request of parents in Cuba to provide an opportunity for them to send their children to Miami to avoid Marxist-Leninist indoctrination. Over 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children arrived to Miami between December 1960 and October 1962. It was the largest children’s exodus in the Western Hemisphere.

OPERATION PEDRO PAN GROUP, INC. is an organization founded in 1991 by some of these former unaccompanied Cuban children. Its mission is to document the Pedro Pan history, and to locate, reunite and bring together those individuals who were a part of it in order to share experiences.

The group’s most recent efforts resulted in the state of Florida designating the Operation Pedro Pan's Florida City Camp as a Florida Heritage Landmark. The Florida City Camp was the largest of the operation's shelters and transit stations. The project took the team over two years to complete, and also resulted in Florida City’s Council approving a resolution granting the street that runs through the heart of the camp being renamed to Pedro Pan Place. The OPPG provides a valuable service to the community while actively pursuing the protection of the few remaining historical resources associated with this life-changing event that affected so many of our Cuban-American citizens.

Since 1999, Hugh Ryan has been working to preserve historic buildings in Miami. With his own construction business, he has purchased and restored 4 private residences in the Shenandoah area, and a number of historic apartment buildings in the East Little Havana, Upper Eastside, and Shorecrest areas. Each of these structures had been deemed as unsafe structures by the city, and most were ready for demolition when he acquired them.  He has remodeled and restored many other residences for clients throughout Miami and Coral Gables in a range of historic architectural styles including Bungalow, Spanish Mission, Art Deco and 1950s mid-century modern. Other notable restorations that he was responsible for include the Hubbard-Alvarez Belvedere Bungalow in Little Havana, the 1939 WPA fountain restoration at W.J. Bryan Elementary in North Miami, the hurricane damage restoration at The Barnacle State Historic Site in Coconut Grove and the interior restoration project at The Kampong, former home of Dr. David Fairchild, Coconut Grove. He also built the base and foundation for the Julia Tuttle Statue in Miami’s Bayfront Park.

City Monument, makers of distinctive grave markers and headstones, was originally established as Lafresnaye Monument Company in the early l940s in Quebec, Canada. The company moved to the United States in 1960 and settled in Miami, where brothers France and Serge Picard carry on the family tradition today.

The Lemon City Cemetery was discovered in April 2009, when construction crews for a new affordable housing project began to unearth human remains. The cemetery sat on the edge of the old Lemon City pioneer settlement, which existed between 1858 and the mid 1930s. Over 523 people, many of them Bahamian settlers, were laid to rest here. The grass roots organization that formed to preserve what was left of the Lemon City Cemetery was successful in getting the affordable housing project altered, but did not have the money to provide a proper monument to the site.

City Monument graciously gave of their time and skills, donating a memorial for the Lemon City Cemetery, which will be a lasting tribute dedicated to the memory of all those who were buried there.

John and Danielle Madril were no strangers to home renovations, having restored two historic 1920s homes in the San Diego area. So when they came to Miami in 2004, they were excited about finding a historic home near the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

The Mediterranean Revival home on San Domingo Street was built in 1925. It had been terribly neglected and had undergone a number of alterations that had been done without permits. There was major structural damage, including the shifting of the subfloor. Black mold was found throughout, and it was discovered that the house wasn’t even built on structural footers; it had been built directly onto the coral rock just below the ground surface. Several contractors and architects told the couple that it would be far easier to tear down the house and build something new, but the Madrils were not to be deterred. Work included the removal of all the later additions, bringing the entire building up to code, adding massive footers and headers to support the structure, and introducing rebar and new cement encasements to shore up the historic walls. The project, which encountered several revisions after visits from city inspectors, took over six years to complete. The effort has paid off and the home stands proudly today, reflective of the great craftsmanship that originally created it 90 years ago.

Tony Goldman was a visionary businessman who understood the importance of including historic preservation, art, culture, and pedestrian-oriented design into every project he undertook. What resulted from his tireless work ethic was the revitalization and preservation of many historic neighborhoods, including South Beach, Wynwood, New York’s SoHo and Financial District, and Philadelphia’s Center City.

In the 1980s, Mr. Goldman would make a business decision that would give him his reputation; he bought 18 run-down and crumbling historic properties in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, now a trendy residential loft district. He not only focused on the restoration of the buildings, but he sought to round out the needs of the locals by bringing in restaurants, a jazz club and new retail. He knew his investments would succeed because the area “had architectural integrity, a small scale, and a community that was obsessed with grass-roots preservation.”

He saw the same elements in the community of Miami Beach when he visited in 1985. After buying and restoring more than 18 historic Art Deco properties, he was one of the key people responsible for the complete turnaround that has made South Beach prosperous. Mr. Goldman was recently awarded the Doc Baker Lifetime Achievement Award from the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and the 2010 Louise du Pont Crowninshield from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is being given posthumously, but Mr. Goldman’s vision and accomplishments will continue to inspire the preservation community for generations to come.

The Historic Preservation Board was created in 1981 and is vested with the power to designate and administer the historical, cultural, archaeological, paleontological, and architectural resources in Miami-Dade County, Florida, as prescribed by County ordinance 16A. Its jurisdiction includes all of unincorporated sections of the County, as well as the 25 municipalities that do not have their own historic preservation program or staff.