an example of roofline continuity just off Lincoln Road

What is protected?

A building can be deemed historic by national or local agencies. Each designation serves a particular function and entails particular advantages.

National Register of Historic Places

Buildings listed on the National Register earn recognition but virtually no protection. National recognition provides tax credits for rehabilitation and renovation projects.

Local Historic Designation

The Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board, under the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Ordinance, has the power to recommend historic designation of individual sites or districts. This designation legally protects the building's exterior, signage, public interior spaces and, in some cases, landscaping. Those seeking to temporarily or permanently alter, rehabilitate or demolish a locally designated historic site must obtain a certificate of appropriateness from the the Historic Preservation Board.

The Ordinance falls under Chapter 118, Article II, Division 4 and Chapter 118, Article X of the Land Development Regulations of the Code of the City of Miami Beach. The ordinance states the purpose of protecting historic sites and districts is "to combat urban blight, promote tourism, foster civic pride, and maintain physical evidence of the city's heritage."

The Board is filled by seven members each serving two-year terms appointed by the City Commission. Their duties, outlined in Chapter 118, are to recommend to the planning board and City Commission designation and improvements of historic sites or districts. Members represent the following institutions or categories:

  1. Miami Design Preservation League
  2. Dade Heritage Trust
  3. owner or manager of property in a historic district
  4. resident of a historic district
  5. architect registered in Florida with experience rehabilitating historic structures
  6. registered architect, landscape artist, professional designer or urban planner with experience rehabilitating historic structures; OR an attorney or licensed engineer with experience and interest in historic preservation
  7. faculty member in a Florida school of architecture with expertise in design and preservation or history of architecture.

"The reason Miami Beach tends to designate historic districts rather than individual buidings is because of the relationship of buildings to one another and to the street," says Timm. Imposing height restrictions on adjacent buildings preserves the roofline continuity that lends the area its intimate feel.

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External Links

Code of the City of Miami Beach
Information and Map of local historic districts from the MDPL