Fillmore Miami Beach Should Be Demolished, According to Miami Beach Planning Board

Categories: Local Music, News

Fillmore_Miami_Beach_Demolished.jpg
Via facebook.com/FillmoreMiami

Who needs the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater?

Definitely not the Miami Beach Planning Board, a seven-member group that's recommended city commissioners consider demolishing Miami's best midsized live music venue to clear space for the new convention center. Oh, and more condos.

After all, "the Jackie Gleason Theater," board Chairman Charles Urstadt says, "is a structure that has been altered over the years in such a way that any historic structure or historic value that was there does not exist."

See also:
-Save the Fillmore! Sweat Records' Tips to Preserve the Jackie Gleason Theater
-Fillmore Miami Beach Won't Be Bulldozed! Developers to "Preserve" After Public Outcry

Fillmore_Miami_Beach_Demolished1.jpg
Via facebook.com/FillmoreMiami
The Jackie Gleason Theater's Walk of the Stars.

Currently, there are two companies -- South Beach ACE and Portman CMC -- bidding for the billion-dollar contract to develop the Miami Beach Convention Center site.

And originally, as Sweat Records owner and community activist Lolo Reskin so succintly broke down the options: "South Beach ACE want[ed] to preserve the Fillmore Miami Beach and make it better" while "Portman CMC want[ed] to bulldoze the Fillmore and build a new, smaller venue that primarily houses a Cirque du Soleil show."

Fillmore_Miami_Beach_Demolished2.jpg
Via facebook.com/FillmoreMiami

In late April, though, preservationists finally prevailed upon Portman CMC to abandon its plan to raze the legendary Jackie Gleason Theater. So it's unlikely the Miami Beach Planning Board's new recommendation to demolish the Fillmore will actually endanger the 70-year-old landmark.

Still, in the run-up to the city's July 17 vote on the convention center proposals, five of the board's seven members (chairman Urstadt as well as Jack Johnson, Robert Wolfarth, Henry Stolar, and Jean-Francois Lejeune) have sent letters to Miami Beach commissioners, as reported by the Miami Herald, stating their preferences for the development.

And the board's three main recommendations: (1) Award the contract to South Beach ACE, say Urstadt, Johnson, and Lejeune; (2) maximize the number of condos; and (3) get rid of the Fillmore.

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The Fillmore Miami Beach

1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Music

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26 comments
jonahmoriarty
jonahmoriarty

Michael Gongora, running for Mayor of Miami Beach receives the endorsement from Planning Board Chairman Charles Urstadt- Urstadt, owner of a real estate company wants to DEMOLISH the historic Jackie Gleason Theater and replace it with condo's.


According to Miami New Times, June 26, 2013 Charles Urstadt said; 

"After all, "the Jackie Gleason Theater," board Chairman Charles Urstadt says, "is a structure that has been altered over the years in such a way that any historic structure or historic value that was there does not exist."

Note-by Jonah Moriarty
Charles Urstadt has only been the Chairman of the Miami Beach Planning Board for FOUR months, appointed in February 2013. Four months on the job and advises that one of the most important and historic building in Miami Beach be demolished- and Michael Gongora seems proud to have received Urstadt's endorsement according to Congora's campaign.

The statement by Charles Urstadt in New Times, calling for more condo's in Miami Beach seems fitting considering Mr. Urstadt's Real Estate Development background as listed on his LinkedIn Profile. Below in part.
-Jonah Moriarty

Charles Urstadt RE Background
Urstadt Biddle Properties, Inc
January 1997 – Present (16 years 6 months)Greenwich, CT
A self-administered equity real estate investment trust which owns or has equity interests in 60 properties containing approximately 5.0 million square feet of space in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1969, it has paid 172 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted dividends to its shareholders since its inception and raised its dividend to its shareholders for the last 19 consecutive years. Previously served on the Board of Consultants from 1991 to 1997.

Valberta Guthrie
Valberta Guthrie

What an embarrassment. I swear city of Miami and Miami Beach are alike! Seriously I would have that they would no better not to touch the Jackie Gleason.

jonahmoriarty
jonahmoriarty

So the so-called 'Planning Board actually made these three main recommendations: (1) Award the contract to South Beach ACE, say Urstadt, Johnson, and Lejeune; (2) maximize the number of condos; and (3) get rid of the Fillmore.  Such genius- they should be fired. Let's break it down for them shall we?

#2 "Maximize the number of condo's?  Really, have you tried driving around Aventura recently after its condo explosion?   Try it sometime.  Like a field trip. Is that what this 'Planning Board' is seeking for Miami Beach?

#3  "Get rid of the Fillmore"?  Miami Beach is a global destination city and it is bad enough that in modern time the music industry already suffers from a lack of support for modern and popular music.  To somehow think that tearing down our only live music venue is absurd.  Instead 'Planning Board' you should support added support for live acts.

Perhaps this 'Planning Board' needs a tour of the backstage of the Gleason.  To tour Jackie Gleason's historic green room and added 1950's apartments for his guests.  Perhaps a dose of that history will enlighten them however I doubt it.

Clearly Miami Beach needs a new Planning Board.  One that understands our value- and one that can pay more attention to our breaking sewer system- and stay out of the culture subjects.

Jonah Moriarty


tantra_trooper
tantra_trooper

Money Grubbing scumbags @ Charles D. Urstadt as well as @ Jack Johnson, @ Robert Wolfarth,@  Henry Stolar, and @ Jean-Francois Lejeune needs to get off the planet ... paving over art-deco is counter to what South Beach represents. I hope they get voted out of their seats.

Jose Diaz
Jose Diaz

they better not bring that place down before zedd performs there

Rina DuBón
Rina DuBón

More condos, for more residents, to overcrowd the already limited parking spaces/lots??

auralphyxation
auralphyxation

Ridiculous. So many of us strive to bring touring acts to South Florida and one of the constant hurdles is finding the "right" sized venue for many of them. The Fillmore is that venue. Getting rid of it would just perpetuate South Florida's reputation with touring artists and booking agents as not worth stopping in.

SweatRecords
SweatRecords

So this board finds no historical value in the Fillmore, okay. Truly though it's what happens there on the INSIDE that makes the Fillmore/Gleason an indispensable cultural asset for all of South Florida. We're glad the board is endorsing ACE, as ACE have planned to preserve the Fillmore since the very beginning of this process.  

Fact: the Fillmore is actually one of the best-equipped music halls in America and is keeping South Florida in the circuit of touring acts. People drive from all over the tri-county area to attend shows there year-round. In every poll of what makes people enjoy living where they do, cultural options always rank right near the top. It would be extremely short-sighted (and an insult to all local music/comedy/etc. fans) to destroy an existing, fully-functional concert venue like the Fillmore, especially since it's the only one of it's size and capacity in South Florida.  If it's lost we'll almost certainly never see a venue like it again, especially not on Miami Beach. 

Save it.

Sam Wright
Sam Wright

I love my City but sometimes it has no soul. Our history made not be old, but we do have history. The Miami Beach Convention Center and the Fillmore have hosted some pretty cool events. Muhammad Ali fought Sonny Liston there, Miss Universe took place on site for 11 years. Dick Clark, Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason all filmed their shows there. Even the original Miami Heat, The Floridians played here, you know the team in Semi-Pro with Will Farrell. We have some history, so stop bulldozing our Orange Bowls.

Mercy Suarez
Mercy Suarez

$50 is a deal these days...not the most expensive at all...some of the bands coming through these days are charging in the triple digits...

internetinternet
internetinternet

Entire project is a loser.  Theater underwent a  $3.5 million renovation 2007.  Miami Beach also spent $7.6 million on theater renovations in 1976.  The city is admitting its historical designations for buildings is garbage.

Condos cannot be placed on city property.  Huge legal issues. 

The convention center does not make any profits worthy of a billion dollar project.  Why do you think you haven't heard any revenue figures for new and existing venue?  They are blacked out from the discussion.   Hotel industry isn't going to fare any better because Miami Beach is already too expensive to be considered a major convention destination. 

Jerry Rauth
Jerry Rauth

first tobacco road now this, lets just get rid of every place of significance while we are at it!

Rigo Discua
Rigo Discua

This was the most organized venue for music, but the most expensive; I don't care much for historical value when it took $50 to see a band. I say build a better venue elsewhere and not charge 50 bonez

Carlos Franco
Carlos Franco

All the boards are the same. Destroy any historical place standing in the way of more condos

FatHand
FatHand

That's a fucking disgrace. Who wants to punch the planning board in the face?

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

@internetinternet Sad day when these folks even think about it on their day off. For the most part, that building sits unused, but all those millions in renovations & upkeep. Wonder when they destroy Ocean Drive and all the historical buildings there ? I mean, they can't be the most energy efficient places ? When will they blame the facilities for the tourism that drops off. Would they with good conscious be able to charge higher prices to stay at these hotels ? We saw what happened downtown, over with the Miami Herald building. The casino resort that got deep sixed, may never happen ? That casino gambling company has to feel as though they got screwed ? Because the only reason they bought that property was to build a Vegas style casino resort. They have zero interest in restoring a building like that as a tourist attraction, that's not the game they are in.

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