Insitute of Contemporary Art Faces Opposition From Buena Vista Homeowners

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA) announced last year that a new space would be built to house its collection. Designed by renowned Spanish architectural firm Aranguren & Gallegos Arquitectos, the rendering showed a sizable modern structure defined — as is the style — by open spaces and natural light. The three-story museum is being built on land donated by Miami Design District Associates, its construction underwritten by Norman and Irma Braman and other private donors. 

The ICA's new building is scheduled to open in time for Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 on NE 41st Street in Miami's Design District. But it looks like the ICA's plans have hit a few road bumps. The Real Deal reports that the museum's construction is being met with opposition from homeowners in the Buena Vista neighborhood. 

The Real Deal reports:

To make way for the sculpture garden that would front the entrance of the new museum, ICA wants to demolish the three homes, which are located on Northeast 42nd Street and between Northeast First Avenue and North Miami Avenue. Two of the properties were purchased by ICA between December of last year and January for a combined $1.6 million. Design District developer, Dacra President and CEO Craig Robins deeded the third residence, as well as two adjoining empty commercial lots on Northeast 41st Street, over to the institute last year.

Pradel Denis, president of the Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood Association, said ICA’s representatives were scheduled to go before the Historic Preservation Board on Tuesday [May 5], but abruptly withdrew the application minutes before the meeting was supposed to start. 
The Miami City Commission will hold hearings on the dispute later this week. The commission has the final say on the issues of rezoning and demolition. 

For their part, the folks at the ICA don't seem very worried. “I think most people in South Florida, including the majority of the residents in the Buena Vista homeowners' association, realize the ICA is one of the most important things that is happening in Miami right now,” Design District developer Craig Robins told the Miami Herald. "I’m sure nobody is going to let this opportunity slip through our hands. I really don’t think this is a big deal.”

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Stassa Edwards
Contact: Stassa Edwards