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Join the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables on January 19, 2019 at the University of Miami School of Architecture Glasgow Lecture Hall for its annual educational event titled Beauty & The Brute. The five-star panel will discuss the emerging interest in the Brutalist movement, its buildings, and the need to preserve such structures. The panel will tackle global, national and local initiatives [including the future status of the 1973 Brutalist-home of the Coral Gables public safety building]. The discussion is timely and will put HPACG at the forefront of this important preservation issue. The event is free. Refreshments and light bites will be available to guests.
To reserve a spot at the Beauty & the Brute event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The physicality of Brutalism seems to be resonating once again, not least in the form of a determined effort by the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables to draw public attention to the plight of the Public Safety Building, which– as part of a land-swap arrangement between Coral Gables and a local developer — is likely to be scheduled for demolition by 2020. The goal is to prevent the eradication of our architectural patrimony and encourage at least the partial preservation of our own, singular Brutalist landmark. Just look at Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum – a classic Brutalist structure that’s now part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York — and realize how re-purposing ‘out of style’ buildings can still make cultural and economic sense.
One observer, commenting on the pending fate of the Coral Gables public safety building, pointed out a significant issue: “buildings like this represent a level of creativity and skill (both in design and construction) not likely to be reproduced anymore. When Brutalist-style architecture was in vogue there were architects, designers, building products and construction-industry people who were skilled at creating structures such as these. Because just about everybody has moved to glass curtain wall construction for larger urban buildings, many of these skills and related services and products don’t exist anymore. It would be extremely difficult and cost-prohibitive to reproduce such a building, even on the stratospheric scale of urban / high rise commercial construction.”
“While the world has moved on to glass-wall construction,” says planning committee and HPACG member Bruce Fitzgerald, “the ‘Brute’ of Coral Gables, Florida stands as a stark testament to what latter-day critics are calling an honest, idealistic, even heroic form of public engagement — modern buildings with a civic purpose.”
Robin Hill— Uber architectural photographer and author
Jean-Francois Lejeune— Architect/UM professor/Florida Trust/DOCOMOMO
Rolando Rivas-Camp— 40-year veteran U.S. General Services Administration
Allan Shulman— Architect/UM professor/preservationist/DOCOMOMO
Melissa Wyllie— Executive Director Florida Trust for Historic Preservation
The Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables is a 501c3 non-profit founded in 1991. The Association promotes the understanding of the importance of historic resources and their preservation. For more information and/or to support the mission of HPACG, please visit www.historiccoralgables.org