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MiMO Architecture - preservation movement is born

Ines Hegedus-Garcia
ines@miamism.com

Is it [ma-ee-mo] or [meeh-mo] ??  It's a question I get ALL THE TIME!! 

To think I wrote this article back in 2007 and how incredibly hot the MiMO District has gotten, especially with the  amazing restoration of the Vagabond Motel by developer Avra Jain...now a boutique hotel with restaurant.  This is our hood and we can help you buy or sell properties in the area, from land to multi-family (although inventory is scarce).

The South Florida Chapter for DoCoMoMo was supposed to launch when I wrote this but don't know if it ever came into fruition.  There is a Florida Chapter and there is strong historic preservation evident in the area.  The truth is that there is a need for land and more and more of our historic buildings are in danger with a number of them being demolished to make room for new construction. It's a hot and controversial topic in Miami - preserving our architecture versus giving property owners free will to do as they wish.

Miami is HOT, SEXY and FASHIONABLE!  But who would think that even words become part of our trendy vocabulary? When you read real estate descriptions you get these words all over the place - "chic" "contemporary" "mid-century modern" "SoBe" "SoFi" " MiMO" And then you hear someone mispronounce one of the trendy words - instead of  "meemo", they say "mah-eh-mo" - it cracks me up! mimo.jpg

So where am I going with this?  Miami Modern (MiMO) Architecture is finally getting an organization to help its preservation, The South Florida chapter of (International Working Party for Documentation and Conservation of Building Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement.......say that 5 times fast). 

According to Beth Dunlop, who writes wrote architectural commentaries for The Miami Herald, "DoCoMoMo has long been a vigilant watchdog over the architecture of the recent past". DoCoMoMo will be launched sometime in the fall and the founders are a group of architects and academics (Jean-Francois Lejeune, Virginia Kohen, Enrique Madia and Allan Shulman). 

I was so excited to hear about the founders because Lejeune was an architectural professor of mine when I attended The University of Miami and Allan Shulman, the nicest guy in the world, was finishing up his Masters when I was doing my bachelors.  The organization cannot be in better hands!

We usually see an architectural preservation movement with buildings from the 20's, but the preservation of the modern movement, in my opinion, is even more important.  We are surrounded my exquisite modern buildings that are too often butchered beyond recognition and I only hope that DoCoMoMo is instrumental in protecting the MiMO movement and also of educating the public about this architectural period's importance. My good wishes go to The South Florida Chapter of DoCoMoMo!

**July 14, 2007


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