Monday November 14, 2005
The New Times accouses the Coconut Grove Playhouse board of hypocrisy. To encapsulate: the board of the Playhouse will appeal a decision declaring the building historical, even though they’ve played up its historical nature in the past, when it was to their advantage. The issue here is whether the whole building gets preserved, or just the facade, allowing the interior to be rebuilt, to accommodate a broader range of plays.
Sorry, but that is not hypocrisy – it’s business. Running an old theater takes lots of money, and if government grants are available to cover some of those expenses, an organization should use whatever reasonable argument it can to go after that money. Does that lock them into that line of reasoning for evermore? Hardly. The organization needs to do what they can to serve their community, and here, both solutions (preserve the exterior/rebuild the interior vs. preserve everything) have their obvious advantages. The Playhouse has the option to go back to the preservation board with a new plan, or appeal the decision to the city commission. When decisions this important need to be made, a long and bureaucratic process may just be the best way. (For more information, see the Grove First archive on the subject.)
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