A Tale of Two Historic Residences

October 2019

Sometimes the decisions of the city’s Historic Preservation Board defy logic. Such seems to be the case with two recent decisions, one to deny historic designation and the other to approve.

The first house came up in the board’s August meeting, a Mission Revival style apartment building at 333 Catalonia Ave., in what had been the city’s Crafts Section — part of founder George Merrick’s vision of affordable housing for artisans. While the building apparently met all the criteria for historic designation and had the blessing of the city’s historic preservation officer Dona Spain, the board voted 5-3 to reject. “I was shocked,” says Spain.

The second house came up in September, a 1926 home at 1224 Country Club Prado designed by architects Keihnel and Elliott, the same team that designed the Coral Gables Elementary School and the Coral Gables Congregational Church (both 1923). The house was also recommended by Spain for historic designation, and this time the board voted unanimously to approve. “I was very happy,” said Spain.

As to why the Crafts section house was rejected remains a mystery, except that some board members did not think it was architecturally splendid enough. The good news is that if a nearby resident appeals, the decision to designate goes to the city commission. And someone did. “Hopefully the Catalonia building will be saved in the end,” says Spain. “I have faith in the commission.”

1224 Country Club Prado
333 Catalonia Ave.

One thought on “A Tale of Two Historic Residences

  • October 23, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    This City needs to halt decisions and see what interests are behind which decisions…
    The general feeling among residents is they are nonplayers while paying the taxes that pay salaries of employees as well as projects.
    When will the citizens be heard?

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