Architect Kenneth Treister, whose distinctive subtropical style flourished in Miami during the fabulous heydays of the '60s, '70s, '80s, and even later recently released a book exploring many of his most significant local buildings. These include some fantastic courtyard houses, the sublime Mayfair in the Grove shopping center and hotel, and a building whose current limbo has been covered at length here on the Big Bubble, the Office in the Grove.
A few years ago at Curbed Miami, I wrote about the Chart House, a waterfront restaurant in Coconut Grove that had been around for years but was up for demolition along with the longtime local hangout Scotty's Landing, in the wake of the redevelopment of the Coconut Grove Waterfront.
When SoBe Wine & Self Storage was seeking approval to build its new facility on Alton Road in South Beach, a classy MiMo building with all the panache of a 1950s beach hotel that is downright gorgeous for a self storage facility, it went by another name: Urban Box Self Storage. Since its recent completion, however, the sign on the facade says something very different: Wine & Self Storage, a name just vague and cheeky enough to make people take a second look.
A building that is integrated with landscape and art: an office structure that is completely humanized, and architectural design which was dictated by the unusual site and the desire to give maximum views of the tropical environment: That is Office in the Grove. The building concept developed by Kenneth Treister, FAIA in 1970, offers a contemporary structure delightfully in scale with its environment and the people who make use of its facilities on a daily basis. Integrating art, architecture and landscape into a harmonious whole is an achievement, which will distinguish the building as a landmark for future generations to enjoy.
The developer who recently purchased the Office in the Grove building, designed and constructed in 1970 by important local architect Kenneth Treister, appears to be very serious about his or her intentions to demolish it, and has already destroyed the original lobby.
After who-the-hell-knows-how-long of nothing happening to the torn up Espanola Way, one of Miami Beach's most iconic architectural compositions, things have finally begun moving forward with its conversion to a completely pedestrian environment.