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The Coral Gables City Commission will be hearing the appeal for Bonnie Bolton’s Historic Designation Application of Coral Gables’ Historic Garden of Our Lord.
The item will be heard at a time certain of 9:30AM at the City Commission Chamber in Coral Gables City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way.
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, nor did the City’s Historic Preservation Board, which denied the application by a 6-2 vote.
The Commission will be hearing the appeal and making a final determination on the fate of the Garden.
Residents who wish to participate can also attend via Zoom by clicking here or watch the meeting on Coral Gables TV or the City’s YouTube Channel.
- Bonnie Bolton Files Application To Designate Coral Gables’ Garden Of Our Lord A Historic Site; Owner/Developer’s Attorney Calls It An “Abuse” (September 13, 2022).
- Bonnie Bolton Appeals, Following City Denial Of Her Application For Historic Designation Of The 71-Year-Old Garden Of Our Lord (December 7, 2022).
- Future Of Coral Gables’ Historic Garden Of Our Lord Goes Before Historic Preservation Board This Wednesday (January 16, 2023).
- Following Historic Preservation Board Vote, Future Of Historic Garden Of Our Lord To Be Decided By City Commission (January 20, 2023).
- Developing: Developer Removes Plaques At Historic Garden Of Our Lord Before Appeal Complete, “As Instructed By The Commission” (January 23, 2023).
- City Violates Own Code: Sends 110 Phoenetia Development To Board Of Architects, While Garden Of Our Lord Appeal Still Pending (February 6, 2023).
10 thoughts on “Historic Garden Of Our Lord Appeal Goes Before Commission On Tuesday, March 14th”
Developers are salivating and spending money to kill this park. Save EVERY green space we have in the City Beautiful. They will never come back.
“Coral Gables deserves consideration as one of the world’s preeminent garden villages.”
City Commission Meeting March 14, 2023
F.-1. 23-5403 An Appeal to the Coral Gables City Commission from the decision of the Historic Preservation Board on January 18, 2023
Dear Mayor and Commissioners,
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables, we ask the City Commission to side with the appellant Bonnie Bolton and overturn the decision of the Historic Preservation Board on January 18, 2023 to deny landmark designation of The Garden of Our Lord.
HPACG supports The Garden of Our Lord’s historic designation. It meets several criteria for designation, specifically The Garden meets the architectural, historical and cultural significance criteria.
It is a unique landmark in the City of Coral Gables. The Garden of Our Lord is part of a “green corridor” which runs from East Ponce until the Douglas Entrance. Additionally, The Garden meets the city’s criteria for historic designation under the category of aesthetic significance because it “is an easily identifiable feature of its neighborhood.”
The Garden is an essential part of the neighborhood consistent with George Merrick’s garden city concept documented in the 2018 historic city plan [a designated landmark]. In this document, staff includes a quote by Robert Stern– acclaimed author, distinguished architect and Dean Emeritus of Yale School of Architecture — stating “Coral Gables deserves consideration as one of the world’s preeminent garden villages” from his book, Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City.
The Garden’s wall is more than worthy of historic designation because of its architecture. It was designed by AIA Fellow and noted architect [and landscape and urban planner] Robert Fitch Smith, whose design and creative philosophy is explained in his own words: “Where does the house end and where does the Garden start? Need there be a definite line?” For Smith, the wall is not “a fragment” nor a “dangling participle ripped away from its context” as observed by a local architect speaking in opposition of The Garden’s significance. No. On the contrary, Smith designed his works integrating the “house and the garden” in context–an integral part of his architectural philosophy.
Professors of Architecture at the University of Miami, Joanna Lombard and Rocco Ceo wrote the architectural criteria for the Garden’s historic designation. We agree with the experts and their assessment that The Garden meets cultural and historic designation under the City’s Historic Preservation. Again, we stress our support of The Garden of Our Lord’s historic designation as per the criteria stated above.
The Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables promotes the understanding and the importance of historic resources and their preservation in Coral Gables. We ask the City Commission to side with the appellant Bonnie Bolton and overturn the decision of the Historic Preservation Board on January 18, 2023 to deny landmark designation of The Garden of Our Lord.
Please save the garden, the trees, the birds, the butterflies, the squirrels of our beautiful city, no more buildings, cars, congestions, please protect our beautiful city of coral gables.
Politicians please do not look for your personal interest, respect your voters and honor what you promised at your campaigns
The commission needs to receive as many letters of support as possible from residents before the meeting tomorrow.
While it is good for residents to speak up on this comment board what matters officially are the letters read into the record by the city clerk.
The Garden of Our Lord must be preserved.
The history and meaning of this priceless landmark are the embodiment of Coral Gables and without it The City Beautiful inches further toward becoming The Concrete Jungle.
Mayor Vince Lago has purported to be the great proponent of parks and green spaces but all the while fails to protect Coral Gables’s heritage and in particular this quintessential garden.
The game he plays time and time again pretending to vote against the malevolent commissioners and developers while allowing everything to pass on his watch is such a travesty.
As “Save the Garden and No to Bucelo” remarked..All eyes are on you Commissioners. We are all awake and watching. Time for a change to do what’s right and kind for the community. Sending prayers with brightest energy to Bonnie Bolton. Save Our Garden!
Dear Commission, all eyes are on you. We are tired of all the decisions made by you that are NOT what the residents of CG support. We are tired of your lack of support, lack of understanding and lack of responsibility to what you were elected to do. Vote against saving this garden and there will now be a push back on all your shenanigans and developer support. We have stated over and over again what we want, what your actions have done to us and how you act like you know better than what we want. No to Bucelo and all of Lago’s buddies, running to make Coral Gables Brickell This is what we want and this is how you should vote. Save the Garden and stop the construction.
If Ariel Fernandez does not win his election, the City dies.
We need more than luck- we need Ariel on the commission- vote for Ariel who takes no developer $$$$ unlike his opponent Bucelo who has the old pro development political hacks supporting him. Vote April 11 for Ariel!!!
SENDING GOOD LUCK TO BONNIE BOLTON FROM THE UK. PRAYING THE GARDEN IS SAVED 🙏🏻 🇬🇧