But Where are the Gondolas?

May 2018

First came Miami’s Flamingoes. Then the roosters of Little Havana. Now come the Venetian mooring posts of the Gables. You know, those tilted columns where the gondoliers of Venice tie up their boats?

In its latest public art project, the city is launching Venice in the Gables this month. Be prepared to see up to 30 of the 8-foot replicas throughout the downtown, all imaginatively painted by artists who are paid $750 by sponsors who themselves pony up $3,500 per poll. At time of publishing, the sponsors included EWM, Torre Construction, Mercedes Benz, UM and the Chamber of Commerce.

“The original idea for the project came from the city manager [Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark],” says the city’s arts and culture specialist Catherine Cathers, who is overseeing Venice in the Gables. “She wanted a celebratory project that would coincide with the completion of the [Miracle Mile] street project, something to celebrate the space and activate it.” The actual choice of gondola moorings came from idea sessions by city staffers.

Each reinforced fiberglass poll will be anchored to a 750-pound base, “so they are not going anywhere,” says Cathers. Except after a month or so, when they’ll be auctioned off for charity.