MIAMI BEACH (CBS4)- It’s a rare landmark home in Miami Beach, and now it’s getting a new look.
Only the shell of the coral rock home remains at 900 Collins Avenue. But it was once almost totally demolished. Now the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board has approved a design to restore the property.
The house will be rebuilt using the rare coral that made up the original home. But the new property will also be linked to a retail store.
“It has quite a history past and present,” said Mitch Novick, Chairman of the Miami Dade County Historical Preservation Board. ”It’s a huge victory for this preservation community. Once again, this building will become a viable part of Miami’s social and architectural history.”
The coral rock home was built back in 1916 by Avery Smith. He lived in it with his family until 1931.
“Smith ran a ferry service from the mainland to the beaches,” said Novick. “That was at a time before there were any bridge connectors and it’s often stated that tourism began with Avery Smith.”
Smith sold the home to Isadore Roth. Roth’s son, Dr. Edward Roth, was the first physician to open a practice on Miami Beach. The home went through only a handful of owners.
In 2007 an overzealous developer began to bulldoze the property. Local preservationists waged a war against it.
Ultimately three city officials were arrested in connection to taking bribes related to the coral rock property.
“They sit in jail as we speak for taking an excess of $100,000 in bribes in an effort to get the building demolished,” said Novick.
Flash forward to the future and preservationists are applauding the news that the home will be rebuilt, South Beach style. It won’t be a quaint cottage anymore. This time it will be connected to a business. But regardless, the history will remain, transformed for all to admire.