This week, Jim Morrison, the artist and lighting designer responsible for the legendary display, unveiled his latest idea for upgrading the sign — and Miami Beach commissioners kind of hate it.
"I was very candid with you," Commissioner John Alemán told Morrison at Wednesday's city commission meeting. "I don’t like that. I think we can do better."
The proposal by Morrison would overlay a large rectangular LED display board on top of the current "WELCOME TO MIAMI BEACH" lettering. Morrison says the sign would allow the city to change the welcome message for events such as Art Basel or Pride. The LED display could cost as much as $45,000, according to the proposal.
Ultimately, Góngora prevailed on Commissioners Ricky Arriola and Mark Samuelian to tentatively approve it. The LED display proposal will now go to the Design Review Board for consideration.
On Thursday morning, Alemán wrote a Facebook post calling the sign "super ugly" and lamenting the commission's lack of taste. A choir of residents chimed in to agree.
"The only thing that is missing is 'sponsored by,'" one guy wrote.
"Next, they’re adding a strobe light and a smoke machine," another man commented.
"Tacky? Super ugly? Overpriced? Perfect!" said film director Billy Corben.
Miami Design Preservation League executive director Daniel Ciraldo is another resident who hates the idea of an LED display at the city's entrance. "It looks better suited for a football stadium and not the entrance to our city," he told New Times. "An iconic city like ours
Commissioner Ricky Arriola fought back, saying "No one has a better idea."
"Every comment here says it’s a horrible idea, but no one has an alternative," he wrote on Alemán's post. "This is precisely why nothing gets done."
As of now, the proposal is still in the idea phase. The LED display will next be discussed by the Design Review Board, which meets again on February 5.