Katrina Morris posted this on one of the Facebook groups. I thought it was important to share it as you may remember that Katrina, along with Barbara Lange filed an appeal in April regarding the current Playhouse plans. This image is the playhouse now.
Barbara Lange and I met with Michael Spring (Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and head of this playhouse project), and the County to go over the proposed plans for the Coconut Grove Playhouse and Barbara and I walked out almost in tears. We had high hopes after a meeting with them in June that they would take the community's concerns into consideration while fleshing out their plans. This was so obviously not done.
The excuse we were given was that the original building was a movie Theater and that it couldn't be restored, so they would just keep the facade, put in retail, restaurants, a parking garage and residences and demolish the theater and rebuild. Their plan to "incorporate original elements" is to stick them in the lobby with plaques.
I find this personally insulting. I think they chose the wrong firm for the job. As far as I know there was no bidding process (even though public funds will be used) and Arquitectonica was chosen without any public input. There is no doubt they are spectacular architects, but not for a restoration project like this. They are trying to modern the crap out of this thing.
I am attaching three images. One of the playhouse as it is now, one of a rendering by Richard Heisenbottle, who oversaw the restoration of the Colony Theater (which is gorgeous and was originally a movie theater) and the AMAZING Olympia Theater, and the Arquitectonica plan as it stands now. Please tell me what you guys think.
There is a community meeting tonight October 19 to discuss the plans. I encourage everyone to show up and voice their opinions.
The current plan.