Future Of Coral Gables’ Historic Garden Of Our Lord Goes Before Historic Preservation Board This Wednesday

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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On Wednesday, January 18th at 4:00PM, the City of Coral Gables’ Historic Preservation Board will be hearing the appeal filed by Bonnie Bolton regarding Coral Gables’ Historic Garden of Our Lord.

Historic postcard of mother and children praying at Coral Gables’ Historic Garden of Our Lord

As previously reported on Gables Insider, Coral Gables resident and daughter of the late activist Roxcy O’Neal Bolton, Bonnie Bolton, has been working with members of the community to preserve Coral Gables’ Historic Garden of Our Lord.

Located on the property of the former St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church (110 Phoenetia Avenue), the Garden of Our Lord traces its history back over 70 years, to 1951.

Bolton filed her 123-page petition for historic designation on August 19th, 2022. In it, she receives cooperation and statements from several respected members of the community.

However, Adams, a former City of Miami official, did not agree with the arguments presented.

In a letter to Bolton dated November 29th, Adams states, “Please be advised that after careful research and study of our records, along with the information provided with the application, it is the determination of this office that 110 Phoenetia Avenue does not qualify as presented for listing as a Local Historic Landmark in the Coral Gables Register of Historic Places.”

Adams explains that he based his determination on Article 8, Section 8-103 of the Coral Gables Zoning Code, which states that “in order to qualify for designation as a local historic landmark or local historic landmark district, individual properties must have significant character, interest or value as part of the historical, cultural, archaeological, aesthetic, or architectural heritage of the City, state or nation. For a multiple property nomination, eligibility will be based on the establishment of historic contexts, of themes which describe the historical relationship of the properties.”

Adams explains that “Pursuant to Article 8, Section 8-104 A. 1., ‘if the department’s initial determination is
that the property does not meet the minimum eligibility criteria for listing, the applicant may present the proposal for designation to the Historic Preservation Board.’

Bolton’s option was to appeal before the City’s volunteer Historic Preservation Board.

The Board meeting will take place at the City Commission chambers on Wednesday, January 18th at 4:00PM. Members of the public who cannot attend in person may join the meeting via Zoom at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88413827534.

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6 thoughts on “Future Of Coral Gables’ Historic Garden Of Our Lord Goes Before Historic Preservation Board This Wednesday

  1. By his own argument, I see every reason for the preservation of this property as worthwhile and constructive for the community. Beauty and references to the past elevate communities.

  2. Article 8, Section 8-103 of the Coral Gables Zoning Code, states that “in order to qualify for designation as a local historic landmark or local historic landmark district, individual properties must have significant character, interest or value as part of the historical, cultural, archaeological, aesthetic, or architectural heritage of the City, state or nation.”
    How can Mr. Adam come to the conclusion that this landmark does not have the above mentioned qualifications? Maybe to him personally the landmark does not have the qualifications but to the community it does! This landmark garden has been there for 72 years. Don’t you think that if it did not have significant character, interest or value of the historical heritage of this city it would still be around? Obviously Mr. Adam is not working to preserve the cultural, archaelogical, aesthetic or architectural heritage of the City of Coral Gables. There must be underlying reasons!

  3. A critique of Mr. Adam’s reasoning processes, at a minimum, reveals narrow mindededness. He possibly has an abnormality of intellectual functioning if he can’t see the incongruity of his opinion in this matter of the fact that exactly the same section of the zoning code he uses to vote against preserving the Garden could be used as a convincing argument for doing so. It can be interesting to explore motivation when someone wants to destroy something of value for no positive purpose. And suspicions could easily be raised if Mr Adams cannot express how destruction of beauty serves the community.

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