Will a boat warehouse ruin Matheson Hammock Park?

By | January 24th, 2012 | 8 Comments

Despite an apparent conflict of interest, the chair of Coral Gables’ Historic Preservation Board is pushing for the construction of a new, 4,300-square-foot, 50-foot-tall building to store about 350 boats in Matheson Hammock Park, according to the Coral Gables Gazette. Opponents of the warehouse say it will be an eyesore, that it will increase noise pollution within Matheson Hammock and traffic on Old Cutler Road, and that it may harm the ecosystem of the park, which opened on Biscayne Bay in 1930 and features a man-made atoll pool. The group Save Our Matheson Park made the following video to raise awareness of the issue.

What do you think about the controversy? Will the boat warehouse ruin Matheson Hammock? Are the opponents of the warehouse exaggerating? Should the chair of a city’s Historic Preservation Board be lobbying on behalf of a project that may mar a public park? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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8 Comments on “Will a boat warehouse ruin Matheson Hammock Park?”

  1. 1 Bill Fernandez said at 9:31 am on January 25th, 2012:

    We have a boat in a slip there at Matheson for 10 years.
    This boat storage building would be a disaster for many reasons. Ecologically, traffic wise and would ruin the beauty of the park.

  2. 2 Jordan Melnick said at 9:50 am on January 25th, 2012:

    El Chango (via FB): “Coral gables has corruption in its DNA. It was created and run as a for profit development, and has been co-opted by developers, realtors and bankers on an ongoing basis since the 1920s.”

  3. 3 Nate said at 1:37 pm on January 25th, 2012:

    The Coral Gables historic preservation board now has 0 credibility. What a joke. If the Coral Gables commissioners follow suit they will be following in their footsteps.
    This park has been the one pristine gem this city has going for it. I have been going there for the last 50 years to enjoy the parks unspoiled beauty.
    This warehouse only benefits a few, and financially rewards a private development company, not the people of the city. Coral Gables taxes are high enough where we deserve, and can afford, a beautiful, unspoiled park for all the people to enjoy without hearing, or smelling, or looking at a boat warehouse no matter how much they try to disguise it. Shame on you Preservation Society!!

  4. 4 Craig Chester said at 3:56 pm on January 25th, 2012:

    Here we have another tragic example of glorifying the storage of things with motors.

    The Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board should be concerned with preserving the ideal habitat of actual human beings rather than constructing the ideal habitat for motorboats.

    This awful situation complements my recent story on the ‘fetishization’ of parking garages in Miami Beach for TranitMiami.com.

    Matheson Park is a beloved place. Anyone who sees a boat storage bunker as an improvement to this rare treasure has their head stuck up their proverbial bilge pump.

    Coral Gables is an iconic example of the ‘City Beautiful’ movement of the 1920’s. This embarrassing, offensive project undoubtedly has Merrick and Matheson spinning in their graves.

  5. 5 Jordan Melnick said at 3:59 pm on January 25th, 2012:

    Here’s the link to Craig’s Transit Miami story: “Visit Miami Beach — Come See Our Parking Garages”

  6. 6 vicequeenmaria said at 5:34 pm on January 25th, 2012:

    This is a train wreck waiting to happen. Few things piss me off but this does because it’s too close to home, literally and figuratively.

    Glad you guys are covering this. So am I — been interviewing people since yesterday.

    Developer’s meeting tomorrow night in Coral Gables if you want to get both angles. The Buoniconti family is behind this.

    Jordan DM me on Twitter if you want the details.

  7. 7 Jordan Melnick said at 7:48 pm on January 25th, 2012:

    Thanks VQM. What outlet are you interviewing for?

  8. 8 KMK said at 6:05 pm on February 3rd, 2012:

    This project will diminish the value of this wonderful community; just the drive on Old Cutler Road is, in part what makes this area of Coral Gables unlike any other community. Simple pleasures like visiting friends/family on a Sunday will be nightmarish. If this gets built…you know what’s next…expand Old Cutler Road. There is no amount of justification to support this project.

    Please let me know how I can help get the word out

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