Miami Design Preservation League
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We are pleased to present the February 2011 Newsletter from the Miami Design Preservation League. If you have comments, corrections or suggestions, please let us know.

Your continued support is appreciated. Many thanks!
2011 Art Deco Weekend: Mission REALLY Accomplished!
ADW Fashion Show

Founded 34 years ago to create awareness of the wonders of Miami Beach's architecture and history, MDPL's Art Deco Weekend has become a staple in the city's life.

Looking at it from a numbers stand point, the 2011 Art Deco Weekend was a smashing success. According to Police Department estimates, over 300,000 people strolled along Ocean Drive in the shadow of our great Art Deco hotels and buildings. In addition, thousands more got the message through extensive media coverage all weekend long. Then there were the hundreds of people who took the various walking tours and attended the many lectures. There is just no telling how many people went home with a better understanding of where we came from and what we have.

Several new additions to the weekend's line up of activities made a big impact and will certainly be on next year's schedule.
ADW Award

MDPL Chair Charles Urstadt, Comm. Deede Weithorn, Comm. Michael Gongora, award recipient Judy Penny, Mayor Matti Bower, Comm. Jerry Libbin and MDPL Executive Director Amy Tancig.

Kicking off the weekend was a fun cocktail party at the Art Deco Welcome Center featuring an exhibit of art deco furniture. Over 200 people milled about before the Mayor and several city commissioners presented an award to the winner of this year's poster contest. The furniture exhibit proved to be a popular attraction all weekend long.
ADW furniture
With its usual compliment of antique cars, the Art Deco Weekend Parade was even more lively thanks to the addition of the Arf Deco Dog Parade that brought out lots of happy furry friends (and their owners).

But what really caught everyone's attention was the super glam Art Deco Fashion Show with a red carpet that started at the Welcome Center and went right across Ocean Drive. Complete with a hot DJ and the incredible Elaine Lancaster as MC, the fashions were the creation of students from The Miami International University of Art & Design.
ADW Fashion Show 2
In its post-game analysis, the Art Deco Weekend Committee pin-pointed some areas for improvement next year. However, the overwhelming sentiment was that the staff, led by Amy Tancig and Marie Hernandez, pulled off one of the smoothest and most successful Art Deco Weekends on recent memory. Special thanks also goes to committee chair Steve Pynes and the many volunteers who helped make the weekend a success.

Art Deco Weekend 2011 was made possible with the support of the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Miami Dade Tourist Development Council, City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council, The Greater Miami Convention and Visitor Bureau,  and The Carlyle Cafe, The Place Cafe, The Victor Cafe by Bice, CBS 4 & My33, Miami Cultural Arts Foundation, The Wolfsonian-FIU, Retro Home Miami, Greenberg Traurig, Inmoven Realty, Visiona Gallery, Modernism Gallery, and all of MDPL's Hotel Partners.

Billboard-Sized Ads in Windows Rejected - AGAIN!
Billboard CartoonSpying an item on the agenda for the Miami Beach City Commission's Land Use and Development Committee January meeting that called for yet another discussion of the billboard-sized advertising proposal, MDPL again sprang into action calling on members and friends to speak up against weakening of the city's signage law.

The result: an end to the proposal by a 3 - 0 vote by the committee, effectively killing the idea.

The justification for weakening the law was that it will cover up ugly vacant store windows and allow the city to raise additional revenue by charging a fee for the signage. However, raising minimal additional revenue is not a reason to allow giant billboard-sized messages to blare from store windows and denigrate Miami Beach's special flavor.

Its unique design and architecture allows Miami Beach to stand out from other cities in Florida - and indeed the entire nation. Allowing offensive signs to proliferate would drive away the very people who pay real estate taxes, spend money in stores, hotels and restaurants and pump our economic engine.

To make matters worse, the City Attorney and outside counsel reviewed the proposal and found that it would likely result in challenges to the city's ban on ANY billboards or giant signs. That would mean giant structures with illuminated signs all over town ruining the skyline and character of Miami Beach.

With the aid of many allies in the community -  including former Commissioners Nancy Liebman, Saul Gross and Victor Diaz - MDPL rallied supporters to attend the meeting and write letters to the City Commission. At the start of the meeting, Commissioner Gongora made note of the many emails that he received. Not only was he was impressed at the numbers but also the fact that some emails had come from as far away as California and Europe.

In the end, it was a wonderful example of civic activism at it's best.
Jane Dee Gross Joins Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board
Saul and Jane GrossJane Dee Gross, long-time Miami Beach activist and MDPL Board Member, was named to the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board at a special meeting of the City Commission in January. Jane was appointed by unanimous acclamation to a two year term.

A seat on the Historic Preservation Board will add to the long list of community activities Jane is known for. In addition to MDPL, Jane has dedicated herself to the Community Health Center, Temple Beth Shalom and the Miami-Dade School System and many other worthy organizations in the area.

After moving to Miami Beach in the '80s, Jane married Saul Gross (seen above with Jane in the Art Deco Parade) and is the mother of Jonathan. Her deep roots in the city and sensitivity to historic preservation issues will help Jane in her important new post in Miami Beach government.
National Trust for Historic Preservation Honors South Beach Pioneer Tony Goldman
Tony Goldman
Tony Goldman, forward thinking owner/developer, early participant in the South Beach's revival and long-time friend of MDPL, was given the highest accolade from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The citation for the 2010 Louise duPont Crowninshield Award reads in part:

"For 40 years, Tony Goldman has been recognizing the potential of depressed, undervalued urban areas and reconstructing and transforming declining historic districts into popular, thriving global destinations. A true visionary, Goldman has been acknowledged as one of the pioneers of New York's Upper West Side resurgence and the driving force behind the transformations of New York City's Wall Street Financial District and SoHo neighborhood; Center City in Philadelphia; South Beach in Miami Beach; and most recently, undertaking the transformation of the warehouse districts in Miami's Wynwood and Downtown Boston...

...In 1985, Goldman discovered the run down hotels and empty, decaying buildings in South Beach at the southern tip of Miami Beach. Recognizing the unusual, architecturally significant community of Art Deco buildings, he purchased and renovated 18 properties between 1985 and 1994, including his flagship hotel property, The Park Central, and its four star restaurant, "Lucky's."  He also reopened The Hotel, formerly known as the Tiffany Hotel, which is home to Wish, a highly acclaimed fine dining restaurant. Today, Goldman's South Beach developments serve as focal points in a thriving, pedestrian-friendly enclave that has become one of America's top destinations."

In presenting the award, Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust, said: "We are so proud to present the National Trust's highest honor to Tony Goldman. At its core, preservation is about recognizing the value of historic buildings and neighborhoods, and restoring life to places that define and enrich our communities. That is what Tony Goldman does, and nobody does it better."

Congratulations to Tony and best wishes for continued success in his many ventures.
Supported in part by The City of Miami Beach,Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council.
City of Miami Beach logo

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
Miami Dade County Logo
Miami Design Preservation League
anual meeting
A non-profit preservation and arts organization founded in 1976, Miami Design Preservation League, Inc. is devoted to preserving, protecting and promoting the architectural, cultural, social, economic, and environmental integrity of the Miami Beach and surrounding areas.

MDPL is the oldest Art Deco Society in the world.

Mailing Address:

PO Box 190180
Miami Beach, FL 33119-0180

Administrative Office:

Art Deco Welcome Center
2nd Floor
1001 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139


The Official
Art Deco Gift Shop

1001 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33130
Open seven days a week
9:30 AM to 7 PM

Art Deco District Walking Tours

Conducted seven days a week. Tours depart from the Art Deco Gift Shop.
For information, call 305.531.3484 or visit our website


Amy Tancig
Executive Director

Marie Hernandez
Business Manager

Iris Chase
Director, Retail Operations

Amanda Bush
Development and Marketing 

Dennis Wilhelm
Director, Barbara Baer Capitman Archives


Charles Urstadt

Gary Appel
Vice Chairman

Meg Florian

Steven Pynes

Board of Directors

Gary Appel 
John Bachay 
Erika Brigham 
William Cary
Lupe Castillo 
Barry Chase 
Roberto Datorre 
Alex Denis 
Susan Fernandez 
Meg Florian
John Forbes 
Jane Gross
Kent Hamrick
Eric Holland 
Jack Johnson
Michael Kinerk*           
Christina LaBuzetta
Arthur Marcus 
Mitch Novick 
Jean Perwin 
Steve Pynes 
Charles Urstadt 
            * Chairman Emeritus
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