Preservationists continue fight at Miami Beach’s oldest church

Miami Beach Community Church
Miami Beach Community Church

The battle over plans to construct a retail building in the courtyard of Miami Beach’s oldest church is heating up.

The Miami Design Preservation League appealed a city board’s decision to allow the Miami Beach Community Church, designed by Carl Fisher, to lease its courtyard. A developer hopes to build a two-story retail building on the site, which is one of the few remaining green spaces along the Lincoln Road Mall, according to the Miami Herald.

But the church, which is in difficult financial circumstances, claims that it needs the new building to survive.

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Meanwhile, preservationists argue that the development would damage the historic nature of the property, as well as block important views of the church.

The MDPL hopes to overturn the Historic Preservation Board’s decision to allow the project. It’s the last appeal the organization can make before going to court. [Miami Herald]Christopher Cameron