A Building Only a Mother Could Love

June 2018

Brutalism is a style of architecture that flourished in the 1970s and then died, for obvious reasons. The term originates from the French phrase béton brut that means raw concrete, but has become synonymous with ugly: raw walls, few windows. Coral Gables possesses but one example of this style, the police and fire building at 2801 Salzedo Street, built in 1973. Gables-based real estate development firm Codina Partners will take over the building after swapping land with the city, with plans to demolish it once the city relocates its public safety offices to a new building. Or should it be saved? Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. 

— Karelia Martinez Carbonell